Saturday, May 18, 2019

Black Canyon Ascent 2019

I have run this four times in the past and had decided that four times was enough (remember my childbirth analogy for this race?). I'm not going to greatly describe this race because I have so many times on my blog, but here's the low-down: 6 miles, 2000 feet gain, hard. That's pretty much the gist of it.

Jonas, for some reason, wanted to do it . . . So, we did it together. Jonas hurt his knee a couple nights earlier on the tramp and was complaining and limping around Friday evening on it. Plus, he was super grumpy. So, honestly, I wasn't too excited about doing it with him! 6 long miles . . . Our plan was to run/walk it - I wasn't sure Jonas could run the whole thing.

So we walked the whole first mile. It killed me - walking and that steepness = hurting calves. But then we started running a bit and that soothed my calves a little, but was hard on my lungs. That whole run/walk thing was hard for me - I would much rather slowly run the whole thing! But I think it worked for Jonas and Jonas did so great! So much better than I expected! I let him take off at mile 5 (when relief finally comes) and thought he'd peter out . . . but he passed two walkers and ended up being the 2nd walker to finish (1st male). But maybe we cheated a bit because we ran/walked?! Jonas' time was 1:22 and mine was 1:24 (a good 12 minutes slower than my norm. - but faster than I was expecting). Walkers were given no recognition . . . so next time we are definitely signing up as runners (I had signed up as a runner, but changed to walk with Jonas). Jonas' time would have been right there (even beating plenty) with the runners.

Jonas loved it. And, really, I think he did. I didn't. I mean, it was fun to do it with Jonas! It's just a miserable run. :)

There were a bunch of my friends up there, too, and that was fun. Although they wimped out and left after finishing . . . it was a bit cold up there. But Jonas and I stayed for the raffle and awards - with Jonas winning a water bottle in a raffle prize. Also, I took some of my friends' running bibs and one of my friends won a 1-hr. massage. Lucky her!

Anyways, I think we'll run it again next year - perhaps with an Emmy, too. :)

My Pics:
 Jonas at the starting line. While waiting in the car we experienced rain, snow, and hail. But by the time the race started, it was clear - and beautiful!

 Freshly fallen snow . . . Jonas looking good . . . Probably about 2 miles in to the race.

 I "let" Jonas take off without me at mile 5. He ran it so well!

 All done - awesome job!

 A few of the friends I knew up there. Back row: Emily (my friend Sarah's sister), Sarah, and Niki. Front row: Jonas, me, Mrs. Kohout (Jonas' 5th-grade teacher. His 3rd-grade teacher ran it, too), Heather Oman, and Marnae Woodland.

Unprofessional Race Pics:
 Where's Emily and Jonas? (You know, like "Where's Waldo?")

 Where's Emily and Jonas?

Where's Emily and Jonas? (This one's hard . . .)

Professional Race Pics:

Go Us. :)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

This and That

Well the kids are down to 3 1/2 days of school! So crazy. Miles just has two more finals to go - World Civilization and Geometry. Good luck to him! Jonas finished up his lacrosse and track season so he's a bit less-busy now. The boys are back to mowing lawns - I think they have about 4-5 regulars, and then a few that pop-up for a one-time mow job. Emmy is almost done with her elementary school life - so crazy! I am pretty sure Emmy was in the top 20 finishers for the GOTR 5K - which, out of more than 600 runners, is quite awesome. Lucy continues to be a super-star student - okay, she's not perfect, but she's pretty great. Look at her writing/answering abilities compared to Miles' on the Mother's Day Questionnaire . . . so typical of both of them. Miles struggles to get a sentence or two down on paper. Lucy can just write and write and write.

Random photos in random order:
  Emmy finishing up her 5K!

Emmy's working on her next value project - a Daddy-Daughter Ball for the Activity Day girls (We'll be doing a string-art craft and she's sanding the wood here). It's this coming Tuesday. Let's home it's a success!

This was Jonas' last meet. I had to miss it because I was working that night (my friend Sarah got the picture for me and cheered loudly for him!). But he ran his fastest - a 6:46 mile! Wahoo! He was very motivated to beat his sister's time . . . He still didn't place, but I think he's awesome!

 The youth had a temple trip last Saturday. Ben went with Miles, Jonas, Emmy, plus a bunch of other youth. The YM had a great turn-out!

This was Emmy's first time in the Monticello temple. She had a good experience and got to do about 9 baptisms. Awesome.

A couple videos:

Emmy made us Chocolate-lava cake on Mothers' Day (sooooooo good!). She did a time-lapse video of it.  :)

Jonas had his last band concert this week - an outdoor concert, which makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable for me (oh, and the fact that I could chat with my friends during it . . .). It was a lovely evening. Jonas had a solo with the jazz band's performance. Awesome. He made it as the "1st trombone" in the jazz band for next year - yay, congrats! (Jonas starts his solo at around the 20-second mark; I zoom in a bit.)

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mothers' Day Questionnaire

If I had never met your mother how would you describe her to me? 
Miles - short!
Jonas - small, wears chacos even in the winter time, nice, i don’t know, that’s it.
Emmy - hmm.short, brown long wavy hair, blue eyes, pretty smile, clean face.
Lucy - I would say she is a beautiful woman that loves to go camping and hiking, and she goes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and she is very pretty.

What  do you think is your mother’s favorite food to eat?
Miles - Mexican haystacks
Jonas - she likes any food because she never complains about any food.
Emmy - Porcupine meatballs
Lucy - vegetables and Talapia and Kalua 

What is something your mother loves to do?
Miles - run
Jonas - spend time away from her children for a while, not forever. running.
Emmy - hike or run
Lucy - she loves to go camping and hiking and running with Brigham

Which of the kids in our family is most like mom?
Miles - probably Emmy
Jonas - well, Lucy probably because she is small and is nice.
Emmy - me!
Lucy - yikes, I think it is Miles because he is a 15-year-old and he looks like he’s eleven, and he’s short.

What is something that mom does that makes you laugh?
Miles - she just does a bunch of different stuff but there all funny
Jonas -  I actually don’t know, that’s a hard one. I don’t know.
Emmy - when like Jonas is mad and he is covering his face during scripture reading, she tickles him and it is funny.
Lucy - she tells funny jokes 

What do you think you do that you learned by watching your mother?
Miles - I learned how to cook
Jonas - I guess cook.
Emmy - cook!
Lucy - I learned how to make bread because when Miles, Jonas, and Emmy were at school and I wasn’t she would make bread.

What qualities do you think you inherited from your mother?
Miles - I’m short
Jonas - being small, being able to hike, and that’s it.
Emmy - beautifulness and shortness
Lucy - that I like Chacos and sandals and I love to camp and hike and my name is Lucy, which means “light”, because she told me that.

What are some of your first memories of mom?
Miles - I can’t put mom into an earliest memory.  She walked me to school.
Jonas - I remember when Miles was in kindergarten and she took me to his class for a halloween party.
Emmy - how scared she was when birds got into our house, how she put the couch in front of the fireplace.
Lucy - her feeding me while I sat in a high-chair, her laughing and talking a lot with her friend, and her making bread.

What do you think mom wants you to become?
Miles - I think she wan’t me to choose for my self, but I think she wants me to be successful, to go college and get a degree in something.
Jonas - a good husband, and she wants me to be tall.
Emmy - a mother! um, teacher, a wife, um a person with a home.
Lucy - a nice person with three to four children and have a good life and be a nurse just like her.

What do you think mom loves about being a mom?
Miles - having kids
Jonas - I don’t know, like spending time with family, I guess.
Emmy - her kids and the fun adventures she gets to do with them.
Lucy -  that when we were young we were so cute, that we were babies and she got to take care of us, and that she can play games with her kids.

What do you think mom dislikes about being a mom?
Miles - also having kids
Jonas - oh, the mean kids, sometimes mean.
Emmy - all the work she has to do and when her kids fight.
Lucy - that sometimes we are pests and sometimes we fight with her.

What makes mom happy?
Miles - when we are good
Jonas - running
Emmy - her husband, her kids, going running, going hiking, hanging out with her friends, going to her grandparents, calling her mom and dad on the phone, getting out and doing stuff with family, and her dogs.
Lucy - us being happy, camping, hiking, not fighting with her kids.

What makes mom sad?
Miles - when we are bad
Jonas - not running makes her sad and also when we fight, the kids, not her.
Emmy - when her kids fight, when she has to leave, when we are not responsible, when we lie and make bad choices, yeah, and books sometimes make her sad.
Lucy - when we are fighting with her, when somebody died, when Bella got lost.

What makes you proud of your mom?
Miles - all the things she does for us
Jonas - that she is a good person, making me be born so I could come torment the world.
Emmy - she helps out a lot with things that we need like school needs, church needs, and because she is a good runner, and she is really nice to us.
Lucy - that she is short and she’s nice and she’s pretty, and she’s cool, she lets us do stuff, and we don’t watch video games a lot because is not good for us.

How do you know that mom loves you?
Miles -  the stuff she does for us, makes us dinner, helps me with writing, takes us places, gives us stuff...like presents.
Jonas - ‘cause why wouldn’t she, I’m so awesome, and because I am her kid.  If she hated me that would be bad.
Emmy - the way she shows that she loves us like she takes us out on hikes, swimming, camping, the way she supports us in the athletic stuff we do, and she is willing to care for us
Lucy - because she hugs me and that she says that she loves me!-- 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Class Pictures

The year is winding down . . . here are the girls' class pictures for the 2018-19 school year:

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Random Pictures

 For an Activity Day activity (redundant, I know, but how else do I phrase it?!), my partner taught the girls how to change a tire. The girls were quite bummed about this and didn't feel like this would be a "real lesson" for them. Ha. But they all ended up having fun! Plus, it was a great refresher for myself!

 Jonas snapped this picture one morning after I had left with the girls to take them to school. So cute!

 Jonas continues to work hard at track! Even though he "hates" running, he seems to enjoy it!  :)

 After the kind and intelligent Brother Distel came over, looked at Miles' car, took home the carburetor, came back the next day with it fixed, put it back in - the car now drives without ever stalling! Wahoo! So we registered it and for last FHE we took a drive in it. :) Miles has had some good driving-time with it this past week. Miles loves it! It still has a few minor issues - like a high idle. But Brother Distel called Ben last night and diagnosed the issue and texted the part we need to fix it. Brother Distel will be getting some homemade rhubarb pie today for his awesomeness.

 On Friday night we played some Apples to Apples. Emmy took this picture. Jonas was at a fun birthday party. On Saturday night we finally played a game Miles got for his birthday, Secret Hitler. After much complaining from Emmy, she decided it was a totally fun game. It really is; it's super cool!

 This is what happens when my girls ask to "play" with my phone for a little bit . . .

There were many pictures like this, or with crazy make-up added, etc. Girls.

Then there was this video.

Then this.

Happy Random Post!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Emmy's GOTR 5K Race

Like I've mentioned before, Emmy didn't participate in her school's GOTR "club." She thought it was boring, plus it was on her gym days and she didn't like that last year. I supported her choice - but was happy that she still wanted to run the 5K! So we "trained" together during Lucy's piano practices to get Emmy ready for it.

I guess last year she ran it in about 30:20 and wanted to beat it by 2 minutes - a pretty ambitious goal. But, spoiler alert, she almost did!  :)

Again, pacing is half the challenge of a race and so I'm a good pacer for her. She's able to run the whole time because of good pacing.  :)

The boys were out mowing and so we didn't get any finish-line photos, but here is what I did get:
 It took Lucy about 10 tries to get a picture where my head wasn't cut-off.  :)

Emmy's 2019 GOTR 5K time - 28:35. So awesome! She's becoming a good little runner! She's excited about doing it in middle school - too bad she has to wait until 7th grade.  :(

It's a fun race and I'm glad to do it with Emmy!

Emmy's Track and Field Day

A few weeks ago the 5th graders at Northside started practicing and getting ready for the district's annual 5th-grade Track and Field day. It's a really fun event and I've helped out the past two times my boys participated. I volunteered again this year to help out Northside's responsibility: high-jump. It's actually pretty fun! It also allowed me to be down on the field (of course, but other non-volunteer parents had to stay in the bleachers) and so I was able to watch Emmy up and close.

Emmy's gym teacher, the fabulous Mr. Warren, picks our 2 events for the kids. Then each kid chooses 2 more. Mr. Warren chose Emmy for the 1600M race - aka, the mile. Emmy was so nervous about this because she wanted to "place." (I think placing means you are in the top 6). Ben took her once to the HS track to practice the mile and she ran it in 7:47. Not too bad. Mr. Warren thought if she ran it in a 7s, she would have a good shot of placing. I took Emmy again a few days later and she ran it in 7:35. Faster, awesome. We had also been running getting ready for the GOTR 5K (which was the day after Track and Field day!) and so she had some distance-training as well.  :)

 The 1600M race is the first and only event happening at that time - so everyone can watch. There were 14 girls running the race (one girl isn't in this picture).

 Go, Emmy, go! Pacing is one of the biggest factors in running - especially for kids (Case in point: in the boys' 1600M, a few boys took off like it was the 50M dash! They were sooooo fast. Toooooo fast, in fact, that they pretty much all petered out and none of them were the top finishers. In fact, Emmy thought one of them was last.  :( ). Emmy took off fast, but not too fast. Just fast enough to be in the top-5 right off.

 I think this is the first lap. The girl in the tie-dye shirt is Emmy's good friend, Millie. Millie is super fast! She would have probably placed 1st or 2nd if she didn't end up barfing after 2 laps . . . :(  Millie had a great attitude afterwards ("I ate too much breakfast!") and ended up winning or placing high in her other sprinting events.

 She was looking great and was keeping up a really good pace!

 And there she is finishing SECOND! Yay! We were both so super excited! Emmy felt a little sick right after she ran, but within seconds she was doing just fine. Her final mile-run: 7:04! Wow! So awesome!

 Emmy also ran the hurdles. She loved it. She took first place in her heat and we're anxious to see how she did compared to all the other heats. She finds out Monday and is hoping for a top-6 finish so she can earn a ribbon. I'm not sure she will, but I'm crossing my fingers, too.

 I love this action shot of her! She's an adorable athlete.

 In the lead!

Peyton, Emmy, and Makala. On-and-off-again friends.  :) They were friends at that moment of time. An hour or so later I was talking to Peyton and she was upset because Makala wasn't friends with her anymore. I think that lasted about an hour . . . Silly girls.

I enjoyed my time at the high-jumps and so it was just another great track & field day!


About 6 weeks ago my Uncle George passed away. He was a great man and we're lucky to have him as part of our family. I loved reading his obituary as I learned even more great things about him:

October 22, 1929 - March 18, 2019 George Ellis, age 89, died peacefully March 18, at his home in Granada Hills with his wife, two sons, and Hospice nurses by his side. His passing was attributed to complications from Alzheimer's disease. Born in Lead, South Dakota, Oct. 22, 1929, George was the seventh child of Joseph Everett Ellis and Berta Hurd Ellis. When he was six years old, his family moved from South Dakota to the Yakima Valley in the state of Washington. The Ellis family later relocated in Spokane, Washington, where George attended both Whitworth and Gonzaga Universities. While he was a student at Whitworth University, he joined a flying club and obtained his private pilot's license. He enjoyed giving free flying lessons. One of his flying students was Inga Hendrickson, who was soon to become his wife. After graduating from Whitworth University, he and Inga moved to Los Angeles where he obtained an MS degree from UCLA. He served two years in the U.S. Army assigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC). Upon completing his assignment in the military, he spent 37 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, beginning his educational career as a Chemistry teacher at North Hollywood High School. Eager to learn new skills and improve the quality of teaching chemistry, he participated in several summer seminars sponsored by the National Science Foundation. During his teaching career he had the rare opportunity to meet with two Nobel Prize Laureates in the field of science. He was soon assigned to District headquarters where he developed a Course of Study for chemistry teachers in LAUSD. This effort led to the publication of a chemistry textbook, Foundations of Chemistry, which he co-authored. The publication, followed by a second edition, was enormously successful. It was adopted in many school districts throughout the United States as well as in 20 foreign countries where some editions were translated. In the latter part of his career in education, he was an Advisor in the Department of Career and Continuing Education and a Coordinator of Granada Hills Adult School for 20 years. Upon retiring from education, he became active in real estate investing wisely in apartment buildings throughout the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita. Nothing pleased him more than upgrading vacant apartments and providing clean, attractive and desirable units. His generosity and kindness earned him the respect and admiration of many of his tenants, apartment managers and employees. In 1984, Inga Ellis, the mother of his three sons, passed away. Ten years later, he married Karen Whicker. During the past two decades, he and his wife Karen traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia. An avid reader, George acquired an eclectic knowledge about numerous and varied topics which contributed to his being an engaging conversationalist. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and three sons, John (Vicki-Lynn), Raymond (Rocio), Joseph, and five grandchildren Truman Ellis, Kendrick Ellis, Austin Ellis, Amber Ellis, and Annette Ellis. In honor of his request, there will be no funeral service but his family members plan a celebration of his life. 

About 6 years ago my then-young family went to California for Spring Break. We stopped by and visited and stayed the night with Karen and George at their lovely home and had a wonderful time. 
Spring, 2013.

Per George's request, there was no funeral but instead a Celebration of Life. My parents, brother, sister, and I all came to California for that special event. It was really a nice time being with Karen and staying at her home. The Celebration of Life was excellent and a lot of people came. I was glad I could be a part of it all!

 Karen has a beautiful and unique cat named Bentley - a Bengal cat. I am usually not a fan of cats, but Bentley is pretty adorable and great!

 We helped get the backyard set-up and ready for the evening's Celebration of Life.

 Erin. :)

 Derek (who was a big hit, "Are you the log-builder from Alaska?" I can't tell you how many people came up to him and asked him this.), Erin, Karen, my mom, me, and my dad. We enjoyed a nice evening meeting people who are friends and family with Karen and George. We enjoyed the stories and memories shared of George as well.

All in all, it was a lovely time and I really enjoyed being with my family that I don't get to see too often!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Miles' car got a new and improved name (it used to be "The boat," which is so typical of a name Miles would pick . . .). The name is Delilah. His YM's leader came up with it from, of course, the story in the bible of Samson and Delilah. Miles is the Samson who got a hair cut for his Delilah. Awesome.

Ben has been busy and so there hasn't been too much time to work on the car. But they did change the fuel injector (or something like that!) the other day and so that's a start!

Emmy's YW projects . . .

As I've mentioned, Emmy is working on earning her YW Personal Progress award. I just want to post a few pictures from the projects she's worked on so I don't forget and so we have documentation on her as well.

She started with the value Faith. After doing the required activities, Emmy began her 10-hour project. She decided to write down all the scriptures about faith in the Book of Mormon. It took her almost exactly 10-hours to complete! She would wake up earlier on school-days to work on it. What a gal.

Divine Nature was next. For Emmy's project, she attended a babysitting class and also planned and prepared a dinner and dessert for the family. She had to decide what to cook ("It's so hard, mom!" "I know, welcome to my life."  :) ), write down everything she needed, go shopping with me, and help make it all. It was a lot of work, she realized. But she liked it, too, of course.

 Emmy at her babysitting class - Safe Sitter. It was put on by our library. It was a lot of lecturing, but some hands-on, too. They got to learn and practice the Heimlich on each other (Emmy's good friend Holly did it with her), plus they worked on baby mannequins as well. They practiced what to do if an infant chokes and some other things (which I can't remember . . .). Emmy said it was fun!

 Emmy received an official certificate - awesome.

Here she is busy peeling butternut squash.  Emmy made tilapia, rice, butternut squash bake, and a strawberry-pretzel thing for dessert. It was all delicious!

Go, Emmy, go!