Friday, July 10, 2015

July 2015

Good Luck on your Mission Michael!!
Dear Elder Israelsen,

So first of all I want to apologize for not sending you an email last week! Ouch. I was traveling on Sunday to Memphis, TN and then I had to drive to a little town in Mississippi. By the time I got to MS I was so tired and I totally forgot to write. Your father is a slacker! I am trying to redeem myself today.

So last week I was traveling to several different customers and I drove every night for about 5 or 6 hours after I spent the day with customers. Finally on Thursday I flew home and then got up on Friday and drove to the family reunion for 8 hours. On the way over we stopped at "little America" for a ice cream cone. We were eating the cones on the a table outside in one of the grassy areas and what would we see but Mark and his family traveling to the reunion. We talked for a while and then left them to get their own cones. They did not show up for about 2 hours after us. It takes a lot longer for travel with little kids.

The reunion was a lot of fun. Neal and Kelly were in charge and they did a carnival where everyone had to come up with a carnival booth. We decided to have a "fish pond" where the little kids put a fishing pole over a sheet and we attached a kid toy (from the dollar store). When they asked us to come up with a booth I joked that we should have a "kissing booth". Well that went a little to far. Rachel made a big sign that said "Kiss Uncle Owen" for $1 (crossed out) .75 (crossed out) .50 (crossed out) .25 (crossed out) and then said free hugs for free. Then she put lip stick on me and I walked around asking if anyone wanted a Kiss. I had a few taker!!! uuugggggg. It made for a good laugh. Last year the theme for the reunion was a "redneck" reunion. maybe they should have had the "uncle" kissing booth for that reunion.

The only bad part of the reunion was that Grandma and Grandpa couldn't come up for everything because Grandpa was really sick. He had a fever of 103 degrees  and just didnt feel good. He had been working so hard to get the cabin ready for the reunion. Over working from what I could tell and he got sick. They even took him in for some chest xrays because several people said that it sounded like he was raspy when he was breathing. It was really hard to have the reunion without them, they were really missed. especially by me. I really look up to my mom and dad, they are amazing people and such a good example of pure love. We even had on family there that when the father was younger he lived with us in our little 3 bedroom house with 10 kids, but my mom and dad opened up their house to someone in need and now 45 years later, that young man was attending our family reunion because he felt like family. Next year when he come we will have to give him part of the chores. Then he will really feel like part of the family.

Because Dad was feeling so bad we didnt even go by the house to see them. He really didnt want to entertain visitors when he was feeling so bad. I guess I will get another chance to see him in a month when I take Rachel to school in the fall. Which is only about 1 1/2 months away. Unbelievable!! We will be down to one kid in the house! I am sorry for Elizabeth, home alone with us for the next 5 years. Hopefully, she will still love us after that?

So now we are at the Beeleks house to visit them for one night (probably the last time we will see Michael before he leaves for his mission on July 22nd). It is fun to see them and make that connection again. I am writing to you on their computer. We were lucky that Rachel got Monday off also so we could stay for one extra day.

I loved your last letter! it sounds like you are having a lot of success. Not just you, but your zone also. Way to go! the Lord is really blessing you.

I love you!!!! DAD

We are on our way to see Michael after the Israelsen Reunion. We are stuck in construction traffic so I'm writing to you on my phone. The reunion was fun. We had 146 people and it rained all night the last night and Sunday so we had to pack a wet tent, I am a fair weather camper. I sent you some pictures. I have a folder of letters to send you. Megan brought Todd up on Saturday and he stayed over until Sunday. He was telling everyone that he is going to marry Megan but last week they were only friends.

Grandma and Grandpa couldn't come because Grandpa was really sick. He had a 102 fever and went in for tests but they decided it was a virus and didn't give him anything and said he couldn't come. It was weird not having them. He was doing better today I guess. It's fun to see everyone and their little kids.

Last week the Supreme Court ruled I favor of gay marriage so it is nice to spend a few days with a group who really tries to live God's law. It will get more and more difficult. Someone said they thought things couldn't get any worse in the 1970's...

I am so proud of you and will try to write more tonight!


June 2015

How are you?  You sound soooo great!  We are very proud of you!  I had a little smile on my face all week whenever I thought about you and the very nice letter that you sent.  You are so good to be grateful.  We don't expect you to pay us back.  We are more than happy to invest in you and are reaping blessing through your service.  Pay it forward my wonderful son!  (unless of course, you make millions and then you could send us on a trI spent the week in Keystone at InnEdCO Technology Conference and even got an award!  It was kind of funny because I thought it was a Making it Happen Award but when they announced it, they actually pronounced it I.T. so Making I. T. Happen - which is really what the award conveyed.  It was fun and a beautiful setting.  I programmed a Magic 8 Ball game using Python and learned a few other new things and tips to use in class!  By the way, the computer programming language Python was named after Monty Python!  The logo has snakes in it but the guy who created it named it after Monty!  Funny!  They had a wonderful fireworks show over the lake and a BBQ at a Ranch.  Christina and I stayed an extra day to get CAMP Allstar ready and letters sent out to parents etc.  We are hoping to be able to forget school for a few days!  While I was gone, Dad had to hold down the fort and play chauffeur to Elizabeth.  She finished her two week voice camp at the Arvada Center and had a great time.  It is good to keep her busy and to concentrate on something other than math.  She also finished her first session of tennis and while she is having trouble serving, she is making progress and will continue in another session in July.

On Friday, Dad and I went to a Korean BBQ place for dinner and cooked our meat at the table.  They brought out about 12 small sides that gave us a taste of Korea.  Then, we went shopping for the Israelsen Reunion and the food and carnival game items we need.  We spent Saturday doing chores around here and picking our first peas!  They are delicious!

During the week, I got a text message from Loralee asking if I thought that the church would consider changing your mission assignment to two years of service driving trucks for Egress.  They are having a hard time getting drivers - you know all the reasons.  They have had to fire several people lately and are having trouble hiring people who can think and work.  I told them you would be wanting a job when you got back but didn't think that we could change your location right now.  :)

Dad picked up Bob for church today and then had to take him home on his way to the airport.  I stayed with the girls and did Primary Music.  Then, I came home and helped Elizabeth finish her packing for Girls Camp.  We had to drop her stuff off at Bro. Clark's House tonight.  She is leaving tomorrow for Snow Mountain Ranch.  So, Dad and Elizabeth are gone for four days.  Once they get home, we are loading the van and driving to the Israelsen Reunion.  Megan can't come up until after her shift on Saturday and we are going to leave after lunch of Sunday so we won't get to see much of her.

Bobbie came home this week and her homecoming was today.  Michael is leaving on the 22nd and we are going to stop off and see him.  We haven't heard if they scheduled a farewell yet.

It was High Council Sunday today and one of the speakers was the Stake Sunday School President.  I can't remember his name.  Anyway, he talked about his conversion story and how as a young man he had read the scripture about being a covenant people and had asked his Baptist Preacher what that meant but didn't get much of an answer - just don't question the scriptures.  Then he as baptized into the Catholic Church as an older person and asked them about the covenant people scripture.  They gave him a little more educated answer but still couldn't really tell him what it meant.  Then, he started dating a woman who was a member of the church.  She gave him a Book of Mormon and asked the Sister Missionaries to come over.  The missionary said a prayer and in her prayer said something about blessing them as the covenant people.  I am sure that she doesn't usually pray using that phrase but he needed to hear it and she listened to the impression.  That was what he needed to hear and instead of the First Vision lesson, he got a covenant people lesson and finally got the answers he needed.  Little did he know that the covenanting was just about to begin.  It was fun to hear his testimony and conversion story and the role that missionaries played in his conversion without realizing it.  Everyone needs something different in their conversion journey.  It made me think of the woman you talked to in the parking lot.  Continue to listen to the promptings that you receive.

Love you!

Dear Elder Israelsen,

Well the weather finally got a little hot this week. In the 90's. Mom watered the hanging baskets this morning and be the afternoon they were all wilted because of the heat. Elizabeth has been mowing the lawn this summer. I taught her how to mow and now she has been doing it every week. I told her that if she would mow twice a week then she would not have to bag the cut grass, so she started that this week. I think that makes her a little happier. Its hard when you have to bag all the grass and with all the rain that we have been getting lately the grass grows really fast. We are most of the way through June and I just turned on the sprinklers yesterday, can you believe that? This has been one of the wettest springs I can ever remember. Everything is really green.

Today, I started taking Bob Booth to church again. The Elders have been teaching him once a week, so I went with them on Wednesday. One of the Elders had great intentions but the way he kept asking questions was bothering Bob. He would say something like, "How can we do better?" or "How can we  help you repent of your sins?" because they were teaching about Christs atonement. Well, that really set off Bob and he finally said to the Elder "WE cant dot anything, I have to repent of my own sins". I know the Elder was trying to help Bob, but he kept after the WE thing for several more questions and Bob really cut him off and told him again that he had to do those things himself. I was kind of proud of him because sometimes he doesn't seem to get what is being taught, well this time he did! I guess for the Elder, he really needed to pick up on some of the non verbal clues. I noticed that when he wasn't talking and either I or his companion were talking he would be looking at his watch or looking out the window. He was just not totally involved in the conversation. And Bob knew it, because he would say to the Elders "I can see that you need to go because you are really looking at your watch" Anyway, just a thought of how to show love is to watch and listen intently. Listen more that you talk, that might help also. Just an observation I made this week. Bob came to church, but he didn't really like it. Sister Lundgren was talking and he said a couple of time under his breath, "boy, she needs to stop talking". Bob needs to be nicer and not such a crusty old man. He really liked the primary kids singing in church today for Fathers day. They are fun to watch!

Megan is going on a camping trip with Todd (the boy she is not dating but hangs out with all the time. But they are not dating;). Rachel has been teasing her about that for a while now. Its kind of funny, but after the last guy I think she is a little gun shy:). She wants us to meet him when we go to the Family reunion. She brought him to Grandpa's 85th birthday party at Uncle Bert's house (but they are not dating;). They went tubing on the Bear River last week and a 3 hour tubing trip turned into a 7 1/2 hour tubing trip because they took the wrong turn. I guess she found out that Todd is hypoglycemic (if he doesn't eat at regular intervals, he goes into a kind of shock). since they were only supposed to be gone 3 hours he didnt bring any food with him. I guess he went into a kind of shock and in the end they took him to the hospital and they hooked him up to an IV to get some sugar into his blood. Oh, did I mention that they are not dating:))))

Rachel has been working really hard to get enough money to pay for school. I guess it was really good that she worked through the school year because now she has enough money to pay for school. She keeps working to get a head start for the next year and some "fun" money is needed also. Elizabeth has been really busy this summer. She is taking tennis lessons twice a week for 1 hour each, then Mathnasium 3 times a week and for 2 weeks she has a singing camp where they practice musical music for 3 hours 5 days a week. She is having a blast. Girls camp is next week and then the reunion (busy, busy) and then mowing the lawn. At least she is making money for mowing this year.

Mom is going to do a presentation at some conference tomorrow. Then she is spending the rest of the week at the conference with a bunch of the teachers at her school. They have rented some house up in the mountains to stay. (sounds like a big excuse to have a party all week for the teachers:) We will miss her, we always do when she is gone. She is also getting some big state wide award. The "making it happen award" for making things happen at her school for technology. She is an amazing woman! what ever she does, she does it really well and over the top. They are lucky to have her over at that school. That's what I think.

Oh, by the way, Josh kind of gave his welcome home today. He spoke about forgiveness and making good decisions. I really think that whatever he did to get sent home was unusual. The roomer is that his companion did something that he shouldn't have done and Josh either didn't stop him or just let him do whatever. I think that the little white handbook tells you to be with your companion at all times and watch out for each other. So, if he didn't do that, what a shame. Anyway, he gave a good talk, he even played the organ for all our songs in church today. I had no idea that he could play that well. Amazing.

Dear son, I love you! If I remember right you are expecting a new companion this week. Tell us everything. I really look forward to your letters.

Love, DAD


I wish I was going to Hawaii!  I need a vacation!  Actually, it was a nice week at home - well mostly.  I drove Elizabeth around all week.  She is very busy with Math, Tennis, Voice Lessons and Voice Camp!  Whew!  Rachel is working as much as she can and it has been very HOT here so the pool is full!

I love reading your letters about the miracles you are always able to acknowledge and identify!  That is an amazing skill, learning to be grateful and see the hand of the Lord in what you are doing.  That is interesting that your Mission President in the President of Norland.  I think the mission presidents and missionaries are picking up all kinds of callings around the world like that.  How are you doing with the light?  My app says that you are mostly in the 50's and that you have 3 hours of darkness right now.  Does it get really dark or just twilight?

Josh spoke in Sacrament Meeting today and did a nice job.  He is doing well.  He also played the organ.  I guess in one of his areas, no one played the piano so he started.  Then, they did a fundraiser and bought an organ so Josh learned to play the organ and started teaching others in the ward.  The Primary kids sang so we sat on the front row so I could lead them.  Dad brought Bob to church today and Helen Lundgren was the final speaker.  She talked about the beauty of the Earth and growing up in the Philippines.  She said that they didn't have electricity where she grew up so when the got together at night, they would gather lightening bugs in jars and use them to see by.  When they returned, they would stand under a certain kind of tree and let their bugs go and there were so many lightening bugs that the whole tree would light up.  She talked about all of the places she lived and how grateful she was for a Heavenly Father who would create such a beautiful place for us to live.  Faye told me that they split Trent's mission and he is now in the Modesto, CA Mission with his 3rd Mission President!  I guess one of the 12 went to the mission and made the decisions of who would go where in the split.

On Thursday, we had a Wicked adventure!  We gave Rachel tickets for she and her friends for graduation instead of a party - her decision.  I read that they have a lottery and you can get tickets for $25 each if you are in line at 5:00.  So, Elizabeth and I went down and got in line.  There were 90 people and they let 10 people buy 20 tickets at $25 each.  They were really good seats.  Our names weren't drawn in the lottery but after, they said that they would sell tickets for $40 each to the people who were in the lottery only.  We got in line and I asked the guy for the best three tickets and that we didn't care where they were.  So, Dad, Elizabeth and I got to go to Wicked with Rachel and her friends!  Elizabeth was soooo excited!  It was fun to be spontaneous and to find out that they did that.  I guess every show is a little bit different and they decide their policy and whether or not they will sell after the lottery but most shows do the lottery.  We will have to remember that!

On Friday, Dad and I went to a game night with a bunch of teachers and their spouses.  It was fun but they all drink so after awhile it was interesting and started going downhill but for the most part it was fun to get out with different people.  Our principal has been assigned to another school - YEAH!  He is not very good.  Hopefully the next Principal will be better.  They all toasted to Ding Dong the Wicked With is Dead in celebration of the news - so it was a Wicked Week all around!

I am getting ready to go to a technology conference for the week and will leave very early in the morning!  I am going to Snowmass to do a presentation and then to Keystone for the week to a conference with 12 other teachers from my school!  It should be a great week.  Dad put the bike rack on the car so hopefully I can find some time to ride.  I haven't been to Keystone before.  This conference has been in Copper so it will be new and I will see what bike trails there are.  I think there is one from Keystone to Breckenridge.

A year!  Incredible!  Are you still on track for a May 23rd release date?

Love you!

Grandpa Israelsen 85th Birthday Party
Dear Elder Israelsen,

I just realized that you have been on your mission for 1 full year! Good grief! You should have a short celebration just to mark the time.

This week has been pretty busy. On Thursday (one day before Alan went home) he got on another wreck! He was at the "Pacific Market" where all the Asians shop for asian food and he backed into a Vietnamese lady that could not speak and English and she could not speak Chinese. Alan called me and I went over to the store to help. When I got there the owner of the market came out and said that he had camera's all around the parking lot because there were so many accidents there. Then he said "because Asians are such bad drivers" I almost laughed to death. If a white guy had said that he would have been called racist, (in other words if I had said it, I would have been in trouble). I'm just saying that there is usually a little truth about stereotypes.

On Saturday he needed a ride to the airport to catch his flight to China. He had so many little errands to run we were super late getting him there, and when we finally got him there he had a whole bunch of trouble trying to get his 3 bags on the plan. He had 2 bags that were pushing the weight requirement of 50 pounds and then he had a 3rd bag that weighed 85 pounds!!! They were going to charge him $670 for one bag to get to China!! He was a little frantic. He had purchased something for everyone in China I think. In the end the customer service lady only charged him $320, still that was a lot of money. Then he barely made his flight!! Your mom and I were frantic! We loved having him in our home, but we wanted to make sure he left on time. Its time to have our house back on our own again. Let that be a lesson though, don't let your bags be overweight when traveling overseas and never take more than the 2 bags that they allow, because the third one is out-of -this-world expensive.

Today we had dinner with Brett and Ashley and my Brother Steve and Annette were here also. It was fun to see them. We had dinner over at their place but then Steve said that he wanted to see our home. So we raced home to clean up a little before they got here, which was only about 5 minutes after us. You know the drill, we all ran around and picked up before they got here so that we didn't look like slobs. We really aren't slobs but for some reason we have this compelling need to look very clean for family more than anyone. As soon as they got here they wanted the grand tour (good grief) We went everywhere except for Rachel room. they were not allowed in there. you know why of course. Rachel stood in front of her door to make sure no one went in. Kind of funny.

I am studying the Old testament again. I am excited to teach it again because there are such good stories in the old Testament. Anyway, I have been looking forward to a little break but now we are having an in-service meeting for all the seminary teachers, one day every week for the whole summer and 6am. (at least it is only one day a week). I love the scriptures! you can really find all the answers to life's questions there. All you have to do is look and study. Elizabeth and I have decided to take you advice and read the book of Mormon also. We have started so many times, but this time we are determined to read it all the way through.

Today, you mother invited me to Primary and If the kids sang their practice songs loud enough then they could cut off a part of my tie. THEY LOVED IT! I acted like I didn't know anything about it and when your mother cut my tie for the first time all the teachers let out a huge gasp! they couldnt believe that she would do something like that. Then as they sang louder they would cut more of my time off, until there was just a knot at the top.  your mother is so good with keeping the kids involved. You should try that with the YM/YW or even primary kids. It might be a way to get their attention when you want to get them to do something. AND It was just fun!

Thank you for your testimony, It helps to strengthen others. I dont know if you know this or not but there are many people that read your blog. As you study, your testimony will grow also. Keep it up.

By the way, here is a link to your grandfathers 85th birthday celebration. I sent it in another email. I even learned a few things about him that I didn't know. See what you think.

I love you, Dad

Alan and his Cowboy Boots!
Hello Jake!

How are you?  It does sound like your missionary work schedule is hectic!  That is interesting about the talk with Elder Holland and the Konference.  Technology can be used for good and help further the work in many ways.  Do you know when you will be getting iPads?  How do you guys figure out how to get around?  Do you have gps on your phones?

I spent this week in Boulder everyday learning computer coding.  I am not very good at it.  It is an amazing program they have a huge grant through the National Science Foundation and have come up with a program to teach kids to code.  We started by coding a Frogger Game and then worked to program other games and science simulations.  I need more practice!  I felt like my head was going to explode but I can see that this will be an amazing program for students!  It was fun walking all over the CU campus all week.  It is in a beautiful area and very busy even in the summer.

Friday was Alan's last day.  We started wondering if he would ever make his plane.  He got in another wreck on Thursday in the Pacific Ocean parking lot.  Dad had to go over and help him.  He was in a rental car and there wasn't any damage on his car but he was at fault and the other car was dented up pretty good.  She only spoke Vietnamese and so they exchanged insurance information but I don't know what will happen with him leaving the country.  The store manager came out and told Dad that he had to install cameras because Asians were not good drivers - he is Asian!  :)  On Friday he got up late and started packing.  His flight was at 3:45 and at 11:30, he came up and asked me to take him to the store.  I took him but it took longer than he thought it would.  I called Dad to ask him to bring Alan's bag upstairs so that we could be ready to go.  We got in the car after noon and he wanted to stop at the bank to close an account and stop at Target to buy his nephew some legos.  He was in line at the bank and I ran to buy the legos.  Then he wanted to return something to Target to get some money back.  AUGHHHH!  I felt like I was in the Seinfeld episode where Elaine was trying to get the guy to the airport who had over stayed his welcome and she was going to get him on his plane no matter what.  It was not as funny in real life though but I was determined to get him on that plane.  We dropped him off at the airport.  Dad thought that he better go in with him.  One of Alan's bags was a LARGE duffle bag that tied at the top.  His ticket was through Alaska Airlines.  I was driving around the airport waiting for Dad to come out.  After my fourth time around, I decided to go in.  They weren't at Alaska and when I texted Dad, he told me they were on the other side of the airport at American.  Apparently Alaska sells the international tickets but they are booked on the American Airline and they can't check people in.  By now it is almost 3:00.  Alan put his bag on the scale and found that it weighed 85 pounds.  So, it was $670 to put that bag on the airline.  They talked for awhile and Alan was very upset.  Dad finally tried to use some honey and politely asked them to help them out and that anything they could do would be very appreciative!  They cut the fee in half but Alan had to pay $320.  He was upset but Dad told him to pay it.  Then we ran him to security which was very full.  After all, it was a Friday afternoon and everyone was trying to get out of town.  By now it is 3:17 and he is at the back of a long line.  He started asking people if he could butt in line.  He made the flight by the skin of his teeth.  We were so glad he made it!  We haven't heard whether or not his bag make it to China but I don't have a lot of faith that it will not get popped open.  Dad thinks he bought a gift for everyone in China.  He wore the cowboy boots that we bought him for his birthday and tucked them into his Calvin Kleins!  We sent you a picture.  We headed downtown Denver to celebrate and went out to dinner!  Then on Saturday, we spent all day cleaning the basement and your room.  He had tons of bags from Macey's and the Outlet Shops in Castlerock.  Anyway, we got to haul all of that out.  He did buy us a hotpot and we ate hotpot the night before he left.  Dad and I made it again on Friday and ate it on the deck.  That was very nice of him.

Today, we had church and dinner with the Israelsen's.  We were practicing the Father's Day Song that we will sing next Sunday in Sacrament Meeting.  We have been practicing for a few weeks and I was trying to think of something to add fun and a different way to review the song.  I asked Dad to pick two ties that he was tired of and he came to Primary today.  If they sang well, I cut off a part of the tie.  They went wild for it!  He was a great sport and I think they will be ready next Sunday!  We went to dinner at Brett's and Annette and Steve were staying with them for the weekend.  It was nice to see them.  They came over to see our house and have dessert.  Steve talked about his battle with cancer and that he is in remission but that they think it will return at some point.  He goes in every three months for a treatment and check.  It was fun to have them.

We are in charge of having a carnival booth at the Reunion.  Dad wants to do a Kissing Booth (kiss Uncle Owen for $1).  Kelly says it will flop.  Any ideas of another booth we could do?  Ha!

Love you!

Hello Elder!

How are you?  I am finally sitting down after Primary music and having Brett's family over for dinner.  I only had to do a short walk to get my 10,000 steps.  I think "day of rest" is a fable and have never been able to achieve that status on the Sabbath.  Perhaps I am not worthy of that level.  We got to skype in for Grandpa Israelsen's surprise 85th birthday party.  Everyone was there except Dad and I think he was a little sad about it.  He is excited for the reunion.  Megan was there and she took Todd (although he is totally NOT her boyfriend and Rachel likes to endlessly tease her about this :).  Anyway, I'm glad she was able to represent!

You sound crazy busy and like you aren't getting much rest either.  No rest for the wicked I guess!  Actually, it sounds like you are doing all of the right things!  Keep it up.  I know it is difficult.  Some days you just don't want to face it.  I am proud of you and glad that you keep getting up.  You will be glad to!  I love reading your letters and your love for the Lord, the work and the people shines through.  

Josh came to church today and bore his testimony and said he is worthy and healthy but is not addressing the reason he is home early.  He told us that he got a job at Dairy Queen and will work there until January when he hopes to go to school.  I hope he is ok but he seems just like old Josh.  He did tell us that there was no way he was going to go to BYU when we asked him where he was going to go.  He isn't sure, all he knows is that it is not BYU.  Dad said it may be because they have rules and possibly they won't let you go there if you return home early from your mission.  Anyway, I'm glad he is coming to church and he seems fine.  He posts often on Facebook about watching sports and having fun so I think he is transitioning well.  

I got an email from Lincoln's mom this week with a snipit from him about you saying you were a great missionary and a wonderful leader and that he "loves that kid".  He also told her that he thought you would get the chance to work together at some point.  

3,065 hits on your blog!

So, we didn't get any of our travel questions answered from last week.  We know it is distracting to ask but when you think about it, let us know your preferences as we will start giving brain power to it this summer.  We have started reading a book already.  We read it out loud whenever we get in the car together.  We are learning a lot about Scandinavia.  

I presented at Highway 21 on "How to Take Your Classroom Around the World in Eighty Ways" and I am going to Boulder every day this week for a coding class.  Wish me luck!  I feel like I will have to go around with an L on my forehead all week.  Hopefully I can keep up.  Elizabeth started tennis lessons and she is loving it.  I am really proud of her progress and hope that she keeps working hard on it.  I would love to see her play in high school.  

There was a $.99 Amazon charge on your card this week.  Did you purchase something?  There isn't anything else.  I wondered if it was a song or what but it seemed a little odd so I wanted to check with you and make sure you have your card and all is ok with it.  Here is  a screen shot of the charge and your account activity for the past 90 days.  

Sooooo, I won a state award this week!  Anyway, Michelle is a dear to nominate me.  I am attending the conference so it's kind of cool.  I'll leave you a little light reading.  
Love love love you! 

Innovative Education Colorado (InnEdCO) is a premier professional learning conference hosted in Colorado for over 25 years. We offer an opportunity to honor educators making a difference in education with the Making IT Happen Award. You were nominated by a colleague, Michelle Pearson. Since InnEdCO is also an affiliate of the International Society of Technology in Education. Your name is forward to ISTE for the international Making IT Happen award.

Congratulations! You have been selected as our InnEdCO 2015 Making IT Happen Awardee. 
Please let us know if you are attending InnEdCO 2015 for the keynote session on June 23. 
Our InnEdCO conference is held in Keystone, Colorado, June 23-25, 2015.
We'll be announcing the awardees at this time 10:30am-11:30am on June 23 and would love to shower you with accolades. 
The awardee receives:

InnEdCO awards the recipient an Apple/Amazon Gift Card value of $250. As an ISTE affiliate, InnEdCO is proud to ensure the Making IT Happen recipient will receive:
A pink Making it Happen (MIH) jacket for women or a black jacket for men, embroidered with the MIH logo
An ISTE award certificate
A one-year standard ISTE membership
​Here is the entry Michelle Pearson submitted on your behalf:
Laura has been a significant reason why her staff has moved from overhead projectors to 1:1 BYOD over the past 8 years.  She has lead the technology charge to make sure that each grade level in her K-8 school had a unit project utilizing a technology end product that reflected research and digital literacy skills.  She utilizes web 2.0 tools, software, 3D printers, robots, 3Doodler Pens, Google Apps, online classroom sites and many other tools to help her teachers and students.  Just this year, she harnessed the power of Minecraft and had students study primary sources and re-create Colorado Historic Places in Minecraft.  She started a maker space in her library and found funding for 3D printers, Makey Makey, Raspberry Pi, 3D-Doodlr pens and launched coding whole school with the hour of code and a programming class for 7th and 8th graders!  Last week she helped 2nd graders record poems for Mother's Day, create QR Codes and add them to keychains for their Mom's.  3rd Graders are studying honeybees and colony collapse disorder.  With Laura they were able to do research and create public service announcement posters that they will hang around the area and take to several city council meetings in support of backyard bee keeping.  Laura finds a way to help kids use technology to make a difference in their world.  She has joined the Flat Classroom project for several years and helps her students create global relationships and community.  This year she signed 5th grade up with Harvard and National Geographic as they follow Paul Salopek in his walk around the world.  They are communicating with students in Pakistan, Brazil, Canada and the US about this journey.  Several weeks ago you could have found her skyping with a marine biologist from the UK with kindergarten students as they completed their ocean animals unit.  Laura has a love for technology and an incredible work ethic.  Her school just successfully completed their first year 1:1 BYOD and her principal names her as one of the key reasons why it was so successful.  She was in charge of and presented at the monthly professional development for her staff around BYOD and arranged differentiated PD and a menu of options for each session.  Her staff can now utilize schoology, doctopus, google classroom, google docs, commonsense media and just about any web 2.0 tool out there due in large part to Laura's enthusiasm and training.  Many of her projects and her conference sessions are available on her blog:
She is one in a million.  This summer will find her looking into the future and making sure she is continuing to learn.  She will be presenting at Highway 21, bringing many of her staff members to InnEdCo, presenting at ISTE, taking a week long Agent Sheets training course at CU Boulder and some self-teaching around the new robotics class she will be teaching this fall.  Laura is definately MAKING IT HAPPEN!​




May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015