Meet Amy

Family Trifecta
Placing my bets on Family, Faith and Fun - in that order. Fingers crossed I win the Trifecta!
Grab my button:
Family Trifecta

First Science Fair Project

Wow, the science fair is A LOT of work!!!  No matter how much of it you make your child do on their own, you are still wrangled in to doing a ton to help.

Jade’s first science fair project is on balance and how our sense affect it.  For her project she had to write a 1-2 page research paper and guess what, there is not a ton of information out there about her topic.  I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised.  Most of what is out there about balance has to do with the inner ear and how your vestibular system helps you balance.

To test Jade’s theory that seeing and hearing affects your balance, we had 7 dancers (including Jade and Ivy) test it out.  We timed them balancing in posse 5 different ways.  The first was the neutral test where they could see and hear.  Then we eliminated their hearing.  Then we eliminated their sight.  Next we had them blindfolded and with their ears plugged.  And finally we had them spinning with their eyes covered and their ears plugged.  It was fun to watch these girls who are generally pretty good balancers topple over with giggles.


Now she’s got a lot of work to do to create her board with photos, times and her conclusion.  She’s not even going to compete with hers and it is still a ton of work!!

How on earth do moms with more than two kids manage all of the school projects and assignments?  


Setting goals for 2014

Over the years, one of my oldest and dearest friends has done a great job of setting an example of making goals and achieving them.  I didn’t realize that when he has been setting goals, he hasn’t just listed them out but he has created a document with categories, motivation driving the specific goals and steps to achieving them.  Then at the end of the year, he grades himself.  I had no idea it was such a process, until I asked him for advice on my goal setting last year.

Well, I’m working through last year’s goals and looking at setting this year’s goals.  Some of the goals I did really well on while other goals I completely forgot about.  Oops – guess I need to remember to reference my PowerPoint a little more often.  But, for the most part I did better than I have in past years.  So, I thought I’d share a little bit of the process and some of my goals from last year.

The first section of my PowerPoint document was “Family” with the subcategories of family focus, spiritual focus, household goals, health and fitness and lastly travel.  These are goals that all directly impact the whole family.  Here is an example of a few of these goals.  By the way, I wasn’t able to score myself an A on any of these.

  • Spend a minimum of a full Saturday a month doing a FAMILY activity.
  • Spend a Saturday a month completing a project that will help the girls feel a sense of accomplishment as well as learn to work hard.
  • Family fitness – do yoga or stretch with the family on Saturday mornings
  • Travel – get away for short trips and work towards a larger get-away every couple of years

Here’s a sample of some of the fun weekend activities we managed to do…


Then there was a section for each of us in the family.  Last year I didn’t do a good job of sitting down with the girls to create their goals.  Our plan is to do that tomorrow.  For the girls I’m going to ask them to come up with goals for family, talents, spiritual, personal improvement and fun.  Then I can help them reach their goals but their goals are their own.

My goals were all created to help me be a better wife, mom, daughter, member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, participant in the community and a better rounded and educated person.  For me, I also divided my goals into several different categories: parenting, marital, household, physical, financial, personal development and social media goals.  Here are some of my goals…

  • Read to both girls for 30 minutes a week (not a lot but a good place to start)
  • Write one statement every night for each of the girls about something that they did awesome during the day
  • Be more present for the girls – put away my phone when I’m spending time with them
  • Monthly date nights
  • Practice yoga at least twice a week and do something cardio at least once per week
  • Complete a 5k
  • Keep a journal with me always so that I can write or draw whenever I have free time
Sure it was an indoor tri but I did it

Sure it was an indoor tri but I did it

Many of my goals from last year will get tweaked just a bit and will remain in my PowerPoint but I’ll be adding more specific health related goals as well as additional personal development goals.  Neither of those categories received a very high-grade.

Now that I’ve shared my process for setting goals for the new year, are there any tricks that you use to set your goals?  


Being a Mom is sometimes HARD

Last night Jade auditioned for ODT’s Nutcracker.  It is a modernized version with hip hop and jazz rather than the traditional ballet.  When she found out it was hip hop she was super excited to try out.


 Jade Dances

Now, Jade is a beautiful dancer.  I love watching her dance and I love that she finds such joy in dance.  But Jade is not the best in her class.  She isn’t the most flexible.  Nor is she the traditional body type of a dancer.   All of this made me a bit nervous to have her audition for something that isn’t with our studio.  On the other hand, she can hit hard and she dances with power.  I also thought it would be a fun experience if she did make it and a chance to get to know other dancers from around the area.  So we decided to do it.

We signed in around 6:15 for the 6:30 call time.  Jade and her friend got warmed up and stretched each other’s feet. They went to the front to learn the dance.  When Jade didn’t understand something she had the courage to ask.  While the other girls were auditioning she worked hard and practiced on the side.  She looked strong doing her hip hop and pulled off two ariels and 3 back handsprings for the tumbling pass.  Unfortunately, when it was her turn, she was in the middle of three and got nervous having all eyes on her.

The director started putting them in groups and was obviously sizing them up.  Jade wasn’t called forward and she knew she was going home.

She was right.

Jade came out from the audition, smiled big and told her friend’s mom that her daughter had made it.  There wasn’t a tear shed.

I can’t begin to make assumptions for why she didn’t make it.  And with auditions, unless you have a current relationship with the director, you won’t ever know. (I say current, because when I was young I studied dance from this director but I haven’t spoken to him in years).

Last night she came in to my bed and said how sad she is not to get to do the show.  I’m really sad she isn’t going to be in it as well.

As a mom, you really want good things to happen for your child.  You want them to be the winner  – at least sometimes.  It is hard always being the “bridesmaid”.  Sometimes I think it is harder on me than it is on her.

On the other hand, I was SO proud of how she handled getting cut.  She was so supportive of her friend and took ownership for her mistakes.  Jade didn’t throw blame or act jealous.  Her spirit wasn’t crushed but she was understandably disappointed.

Sure, as a mom, I want my kids to win.  But when they don’t, I couldn’t ask for a better response.

As a parent, how to you handle similar disappointment?


Restoration of the Priesthood and the Translation of the Book of Mormon

Restoration of the Priesthood and the Translation of the Book of Mormon



The past couple of weeks we have talked about the loss of many of God’s truths on the earth.  We’ve done a great job remembering many of those things like baptism by immersion, the priesthood, missionary work and the gift of the Holy Ghost to name a few.  Last week we talked about when Joseph Smith had his first vision.

Which church did Heavenly Father tell him he should join?

If he wasn’t supposed to join any of the churches, what was he supposed to do?

Joseph Smith was patient and he waited for further instruction from Heavenly Father.  Eventually he was shown the Golden Plates.  But he wasn’t allowed to take them.  For 4 years he had to return each year to see them and receive more instruction.  Finally he was given the plates.

There was a problem though.  The plates were not in English!!

What is English?

I’d like to read you something.

Read the first line of the introduction of the Book of Mormon in Russian…

Книга Мормона — это собрание Священных Писаний, которое можно сравнить с Библией. Это летопись дел Бога с древними жителями Америки, и она содержит, как и Библия, полноту Вечного Евангелия.

Even those in this room who speak Russian may not have understood my poor Russian.  (A sure sign I need to practice more).

Who could tell me exactly what I just read?

Here is what I said, now in a language we will all understand…

The Book of Mormon is a volume of Holy Scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel.

For Joseph Smith, I’m sure he felt very similar to the way you just felt listening to me.  Joseph needed some very important things to be able to translate the Golden Plates.

Hand out a puzzle piece to each class and have them discuss the item on the back.  Have one representative come up and share with the group what the item is and why it was important and put the puzzle piece on the board. (The Puzzle should say “Joseph Smith Translated the Book of Mormon and restored gospel truths”)

(For junior primary have a short description of the item.  For senior primary just list the item and have them discuss or locate in the Joseph Smith History why it is important).

  1. Joseph Smith – a young boy who had to ask the question in order to be given the answer
  2. Urim and Thummim – An ancient instrument or tool prepared by God and used by Joseph Smith to aid in the translation of the Book of Mormon. God provided a Urim and Thummim to His prophets in ancient times
  3. Angel Moroni – God sent him to talk to Joseph and show him the Golden Plates
  4. Golden plates – The scriptures that were written by prophets of old that were hidden from the earth until it was the right time to have them uncovered
  5. Power of God – Only through His power could the Book of Mormon be located
  6. Oliver Cowdery – the man that was called upon to help Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon

Not only did Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon but through him the power to act in God’s name was also restored.

I want to help you understand that there are many powers but only one power of God.  For example, here is a car key.  Out in the parking lot there are dozens of cars but this key only opens one of them.

The Priesthood is just like the car.  There is only one key to the priesthood and that key was restored to Joseph Smith

While Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon, he learned about baptism for the remission of sins.  He wanted to know more about that so he and Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to pray.  A messenger came and blessed them and gave them the Aaronic Priesthood.

Who was that messenger?  John the Baptist

What can you do with the Aaronic Priesthood?  Bless the sacrament.  Pass the sacrament.  Baptism.

Baptism is what they went to the woods to pray about and John the Baptist gave them that power.  He also told them to do something.  Based on who gave them the priesthood and what you can do with the Aaronic priesthood.  What were they asked to do?

Joseph Smith baptized Oliver Cowdery and then Oliver baptized Joseph.

They were told they needed to wait for a time before they would be given the next priesthood power.

The other one is called the Melchizedek.  It restored the power to bless the sick and also give the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Melchizedek Priesthood was given to Joseph Smith not by one messenger like the Aaronic but by three.  They were Peter, James and John.

Who were Peter, James and John?  They were given the priesthood by Jesus Christ and then in turn gave it to Joseph Smith.

In closing I would like to say that I am grateful for each of the prayers that Joseph Smith was thoughtful enough to say.  That he was prompted by the Spirit and listened so that today we can have the truths restored that we are in need of.  I know that John the Baptist blessed him with the Aaronic Priesthood and that Peter, James and John returned to give him the Melchizedek Priesthood when he was ready.  I know that God lives and loves us and wants us to know all of His truths.



Link to the puzzle and the words to put on the back



Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith – Senior Primary

Senior Primary –

Last week we talked about when Christ died that eventually many of the gospel truths that He taught died too.  Some of the teachings that were lost were the priesthood, temples, baptism by immersion, and some of the scriptures.

All of those truths are very important to the foundation of His True and Living church.

In order for us to have these truths, something wonderful had to happen.

Today there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of different churches all around the world.  Nearly 200 years ago, there weren’t nearly as many but there were still a lot.  In fact, when Joseph Smith was a young boy there was a corner not far from his house were there were 4 different churches.  Joseph’s family wanted to attend a church together.  But as they started looking into each of the churches, some of his family wanted to join one while others wanted to join another.

Joseph wanted to make sure he made the right decision.  The best decision.  A forever decision.

One day while thinking about what church to join, he read a scripture from the Bible.  It was James 1:5 and it said, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

[Hang up Sign]

Sign - James 1:5

I have highlighted the points that motivated Joseph Smith to something that has forever changed our lives.

Who can tell me what this scripture means?

What did Joseph decide to do because of this scripture?

Joseph knew that this was not just any old prayer.  He knew that this one was super important to him and maybe to his family.  He had no idea how important it would be for the rest of us.

Joseph Smith went to a nearby grove of trees where he knew it would be quiet and he knew he wouldn’t be interrupted to do chores or get teased by one of his siblings.

Let’s listen to what happened.

[Joseph Smith’s First Vision]

I want each of you to sit quietly for a moment and think about how you would feel if that were to happen to you.  Think about the joy, maybe the fear, maybe the excitement or just complete peace.

Joseph Smith was a very special person with a unique mission in this life.  A mission that is very different than each of ours.  Because of his prayer and the answer he received we are all able to have the full gospel truths.  We can go to the temple, receive priesthood blessings, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and many more wonderful things.

I’ve asked a couple of you to come up and tell us how you feel when you hear the story of Joseph Smith.  Tell us what Joseph Smith’s first vision means to you.  And also tell us how you know that this is a true story.

[Have two or three kids share their testimony.  Make sure you call on them ahead of time and if there is still time you can open it up to others that may want to share as well]

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony with us today.  I’d like to add mine that I know Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that beautiful morning in the Sacred Grove.  Although I will likely never have a vision like Joseph’s, I know that my prayers will be answered and I too can know what is right and what is wrong.




Related Posts with Thumbnails