Fall Fun!

We had a blast on Halloween this year, with costumes even at school, and then afternoon activities. These included trick or treating, costume catwalk, skit contest, karaoke and scary photo booth fun.  The evening had us watching Halloween movies and decorating spooky cookies.

 

In November, we had another of our wonderful Intensives – Service Week!  The week began with assignments for a Secret Service Sister (someone to serve and pamper through the week) and some time at the Utah Food Bank. We also wrote letters to troops, cards of thanks, tied blankets for the children’s hospital, did yard work for Family Support Centers.  We assembled Welcome Kits for the Children’s Justice Center, baked and delivered goodies to our First Responders, made and served lunch at the Ronald McDonald House, and competed in a service scavenger hunt. Phew!  What a busy and meaningful week!

 

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LEA Intensive: Arts Week!

At the end of August, we had a full week’s break from school, which we spent focusing on cultivating and appreciating all forms of art.  Arts Week was kicked off with workshops – students got to choose from Writing, Cake Decorating, Ink Painting and Voice Masterclass – and then a showcase of what they worked on. That evening was spent tying blankets for Primary Children’s Medical Center, another Staff-Student Wellness activity we were able to enjoy together.

Day 2 was spent all over the city viewing various art exhibits, galleries and museum:  Gilgal Sculpture Garden, Hope Gallery and Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and a Classical Guitar concert at lunch! This day was wrapped up with some craft/art time.

Day 3 consisted of an aerial silks class (how exotic!) and Hale Center Theater’s production of See How They Run.  Day 4 had another self-guided art tour including the Glendinning Home, the Chase Home and later a Guest Writer’s Series at the Finch Lane Gallery.  We also got to participate in a Community drum circle experience and work on Altered Books here at home.

Our final day began with a dance workshop that had everyone on their feet, conducted by SALT Contemporary Dance Company.  We had some good old yoga time, and then Open Studios – free access to all the art supplies and musical and athletic equipment available, to be able to practice and hone our own crafts of choice.  We are so blessed with both amazingly talented staff and a culturally rich community.  Get out there and create!

 

 

Utah Shakespeare Festival

As we do every year, a group of LEA students got to spend time in Cedar City, Utah attending the world-renowned and Tony-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival. This year, 15 students and 4 staff got 4 days of plays, seminars, tours and fun.

We were able to watch 3 different Green shows – an outdoor musical show before each play – all themed from a different European country, and a lovely way to begin each evening.  We attended pre-show Play Orientations each night, and post-show Seminars to review each morning, which really helped us be able to understand, enjoy and relate our Shakespeare experiences.

The plays we enjoyed were Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Three Musketeers and Mary Poppins (not all Shakespeare, but all great!) and each was fantastic in its production!  We also got time in a backstage tour, an intriguing costume seminar and an enlightening props seminar, not to mention all the gift shop and photo-taking time!

This is a one-of-kind experience that we are lucky to have so close to us!  Here’s to another great Festival!

LEA Intensive: Adventure Week!

June saw La Europa in the middle of one of our 4 annual intensives – Adventure Week!  It was exciting, exhausting and exhilarating!

The festivities kicked off on Monday with a hike up to Utah’s Ensign Peak, which rewards with a killer view.  Students then got to compete as teams in the LEA Amazing Race at Historic Wheeler Farm – what a blast!  That night we brought back Extreme Karaoke for some stunning performances and great laughs!

Tuesday we got to spend the day rappelling with lunch in the great outdoors, and then rested and packed up for Wednesday’s big adventure. The whole group headed down to Zion National Park to spend some time seeing the iconic red rock of southern Utah. We got in some great hikes, tent camping, dinner over the fire.  On the way home, we stopped at Candy Mountain Resort for a guided white water rafting trip.  An excellent foray into the Wild West’s Wilderness.

Our final day was spent up in Park City, at Utah Olympic Park.  We got to zipline down the mountain, see some Olympic history, try a Challenge course and zoom down the mountain on the Alpine Slides, plus of course, a relaxing lunch watching professional skiers practicing jumps!  What an incredible week!

Days of Summer ’16

We kicked off the summer with lots of active festivities!  Memorial Day saw LEA at Laser Quest (a real showdown!) then volleyball, frisbee and chalk art at home in the afternoon, and topped it off with one of our favorites – dinner and s’mores over the campfire up the canyon.

Our festive 4th of July included the Murray City Independence Day Parade, water baseball, water balloon volleyball, plus homemade ice cream and movies in the evening! For additional days off, our students hiked to Donut Falls, went to a Bees game, roller skated, story time atop Buffalo Peak, saw a children’s production of Snow White and the Seen Dwarfs on stage, and hit the movie theater for Finding Dory!  Not to mention all the usuals – yoga, zumba, free time, study hall.

We closed our summer much the way it began. Labor Day had a visit to wAIRhouse Trampoline Park, Kubo and the Two Strings in theater, and dinner over the fire up in beautiful Millcreek Canyon.  Got to take advantage of the remarkable Utah surroundings when we can!,img_0999

An Intense April

April was home to 2 of our very favorite annual activities!  We held one of our “Intensives”, our film festival the Europies!  Students spend the whole week crafting short films that are then screened and awarded at the end of the week.  They work hard, receiving some professional tips at first, and then going to group therapy together throughout the week to make sure they are working together as well as possible.  On Friday, we dressed up to the nines and walked the red carpet before voting on awards.  What a blast – we always love to see what our kiddos can put together in such a short amount of time!

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The other intense day in April was a visit to the ROPES Course.  We were able to spend the morning working together as teams and problem solving, and then after a delicious catered lunch, we used the afternoon to accomplish more individual feats (always with the support of each other, of course.) What an amazing opportunity!

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Cold days, Cool times

In the cold beginning of 2016, we were able to enjoy a smattering of days off of school here and there.  We spent time preparing for 2 different Family Weeks and the Fine Arts Festivals that accompany them (these times themed Dreams and Laughter.)  But don’t think that was all!  We had loads of opportunities for fun, including awesome visits to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium and the Nickelcade.  Bringing you back?

It took us a few tries because of snow storms, but we also finally got to enjoy a few winter time activities –  the Ice Castles in Midway, Ut, and going up the Wasatch mountains for a great afternoon of snowshoeing! Who knew walking around on tennis rackets would be such a blast?

We got to spend some of our time off with a few good old standbys – the movie theater (Kung Fu Panda 3 – Skidoosh!) and bowling the lanes.  Bowling was our staff and student Wellness Activity for March, and we had a really great time being able to just do something fun with our staff, teachers, therapists and students all mingling together for once.

Lastly, we were privileged to see two plays this winter.  We got to attend “As You Like It” put on by the University of Utah, Shakespeare in a small setting.  Then in contrast, we went to see “The Pirate Queen” in a professional theater-in-the-round, at Hale Center Theater.  See what we have got coming in warmer days!

Chanukkah, Christmas and Chilly weather!

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We kicked off our great holiday break this year with Hanukkah festivities (a menorah, dreidel and coins!) as well as a Friday night trip to see A Christmas Carol live on stage (with one of our own staff performing!) Speaking of stages, we also got to see Ballet West’s production of the Nutcracker.

We attempted to drive through the Thanksgiving Point lights, but were rained out!! (In Salt Lake City in December?! Go figure!) We were, however, successful and got to drive through Christmas in Color, a miles-long Christmas light display, as well as “Christmas Street” in Taylorsville.

We moved our bodies with many trips to the Rec. Center, but also some more festive activities – ice skating at Gallivan Center, bowling at Fat Cats and sledding at Murray Park.  We aren’t afraid of the cold! (Even if it does mean rain.)

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Some of the biggest highlights of the week were our many service projects.  La Europa students made a large variety of goodies (cookies, cupcakes and bars, oh my!) and packaged them along with handmade cards and delivered them to our local Police and Firemen working on Christmas Eve.  They also took some treats and their most festive singing voices to our nearest care center and spent Christmas Eve caroling and visiting with the residents there.  Another awesome project was when we got to go make ans serve a meal for those staying at the Ronald McDonald House in SLC.  And finally, speaking of children in hospitals, we tied fleece blankets to donate to Primary Children’s Hospital.  We absolutely LOVE helping others around these parts!

We did have some group therapy and expressive therapy groups, as well as yoga and Euro Store interspersed with our fun activities, but that’s still not all!  Our students got to go have hot dogs at a Jazz Game (they won!), get prizes for Walmart Bingo, walk their way around the Natural History Museum of Utah, relax with a smattering of Christmas movies, and that’s right – even go see the new Star Wars movie on Christmas Day!

Around New Year’s time, we also had lunch aboard the Heber Creeper, along a scenic route for a fun train ride and that night, a murder mystery dinner, “Killing for the Crown” right at home, with a lovely dinner served in courses by our amazing chef!  The morning of New Year’s Eve saw us having a blast at Boondocks Fun Center with a sweet buffet lunch.  We were able to have noise makers and watch the ball drop in New York, a regular tradition for many.  It was a lovely, relaxing and fun-filled time for all of us!

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November Notables

While our amazing teachers attended a training, we had a random Wednesday off of school in the beginning of November.  What better way to spend it than with sack lunches at the Zoo?  Even in November, the weather was warm enough and we love seeing those animals!

Then of course, were the days of Thanksgiving break.  On Thursday, we were able to start the day with brunch and family phone calls, which also meant some relaxing Wii and movie time, followed by a gratitude photo scavenger hunt created by our amazing Rec. Therapy Intern, Codi.  Then, with a few homey dishes made in house, and some other food catered, staff and students sat down to share a lovely Thanksgiving meal, complete with a round of things for which we are grateful.  It was a warm and sweet time around the table.  The evening ended with a trip to see The Peanuts Movie, and of course, PIE!

The next day, we were able to make and prepare a meal for those staying at Ronald McDonald House and then browse the exhibits at The Leonardo museum.  We crowned our time off of school with the decorating of our tall, majestic Christmas tree!  Happy holidays all!

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Happy Halloween 2015!

Even though they still had to complete some deep clean chores, our kiddos had a fun-filled Halloween Saturday this year!  They were able to eat a warm breakfast with hot cider outside around the fire.

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After the cleanup and the getting ready, the festivities really began.  Students got to trick or treat from room to room, scoring some loot from our willing staff.  After that, the group did a costume catwalk and photo shoot, then a nice relaxing evening of making caramel apples, popcorn with “scary” movies, cider and costumes.

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