Sunday, March 30, 2008

NM State Track Statistics

There are a couple of web site with track statistics that are interesting to view. Our state track meet takes place May 16-17, 2008.

There is a Albuquerque Metro Top 10 list of those in our part of the state that is updated after every track meet. Scroll down to each meet at the following link:

There are also state qualifying results on the New Mexico Activity web site. You can go to the first link and click on Class AAAAA (Boys and Girls) or you can click the other link that should go to the latest state qualifying results. Brent has qualified in the 200m, 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 (I will also post these links in my links on my blog for future reference). Go Brent!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day Three in Vegas

Katrina told Greg and Brent to get a piece of Oreo Cheesecake (on her behalf) at the Cheesecake Factory. The guys ordered it ON TOP of their own desserts. We were wondering why we didn't bring Greg's "Freeloader Fork" as he had to move across the table to eat some of Brooke's dessert.

The last picture is of one of Brooke's good friends from LBJ, Kayleen. We ran into Kayleen and her mom Angela in the Caesar's Palace shopping mall. Kayleen's family is also in Las Vegas for Spring Break. Both girls LOVE Juicy Couture.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New York and Paris in the Same Night

Brent and Brooke wanted to go to the New York, NY hotel. They rode the roller coaster before getting lunch. We also walked through "Paris" on our way back to the Bellagio. A lot of our time is spent on escalators as we walk around Las Vegas.

Zion Place Mall Enrichment Activity

I finally finished gathering and organizing info from our Zion Place Mall enrichment birthday sale-a-bration! I keep having people asking about getting all of our ideas from this activity and have included the talks I gave teachers to use for their remarks, some of the handouts, and LOTS of pictures! Thanks to those of you who helped out and for sharing your ideas so others can use them.

Thank you to those of you who originated the “mall activity.” We took the idea and made it our own which is something you can also do. I envision this idea being adapted for a Young Women Camp, Youth Conference, or Primary Day Activity. I’ve written up pretty much everything I could think of and hope my notes help you come up with your inspirations.

Our Taylor Ranch Ward Relief Society Mall 

We decided to name it Zion Place Mall (our logo was created by The logo is his property so I ask that you not use any of our artwork, ideas, etc. on any web site that sells ideas, or in any books or CDs. Our ideas are for local church use only. Thanks.

Helpful Information

First of all, I invited all of our ward’s Young Women to attend our Relief Society Birthday SALE-a-bration [click here to see a sample invitation] as I believe transitioning from Young Women to Relief Society should start way before a girl’s senior year. We had at least 109 women/young women attend our enrichment meeting (we sent a sign up around and had 86 Relief Society sisters and Young Women commit beforehand…We had at least 20 extra show up. Some were members of our ward who didn’t sign up, others were non-member friends).

I used three shopping bags to promote the activity in Relief Society opening exercises on the first Sunday of the month (when the Young Women have opening exercises with us). I had my 12 year old daughter and her friend carry a bag without showing the sides where I glued the specifics of our activity. We made small talk about how much we loved shopping and then each turned around our bags to give the specifics of our activity (tempted them by telling them what food we were having in our food court). I also set the bags out on a table by the Primary room and Relief Society Room (traded off).  

I printed the logos on glossy paper and attached them to the shopping bags (9 ¾” x 7 ¾” brown craft colored). I printed additional copies of the mall logo to tape (back-to-back) on the glass entry doors to our building. I made up class schedules and glued them to the back side of each bag. Schedules were made up by table.

Click here for a sample schedule.  
Click here for a Shopping Schedule by Tables.

One thing I figured out by trial and error was that my logos for the bags stuck better if I used those sticky glue dots as opposed to a glue stick. I used a glue stick for the plain paper schedules…most stayed on but a few came off.

We gave Wayne a map of our building (got it from our Primary Presidency). He made it look like a mall map. I’ve included the map for you to see as an example. You will have to get maps of your buildings and find someone who is handy with Photoshop to make maps for your activity. Wayne printed three large versions of the map to place around the building (He used a regular printer and taped the pages together to make them poster size).

Wayne found the store logos on the internet to make our door signs. I don’t have any of those files so you will have to come up with those. You can click on the store names below as I have linked them to their online web pages. If you do not see a link, that means there is no online web page.  

I closed two stores for every two blocks of time so that store owners could attend two other classes during the event. [Click here for the closed sign].  One suggestion for anyone doing this in the future is to do a dry run and let all the teachers go to each other’s classes. We put the “Closed Sign” Wayne made for us on the doors when the store owners were gone. The closed sign may be printed and laminated.

I made up a thank you note that you can use after the activity. I used the Zion Place Mall logo for these notes:

Inside of Card
Outside of Card

Food Court
The booths in the food court were borrowed from our Activities committee. They were large cardboard tubes (from carpet rolls?). The Activities Committee members made stands out of wood to set the rolls in and had wood beam toppers. Wayne’s wife Becky used plastic tablecloths on the toppers and added the food court signs which were printed on paper.  Becky also made a cool fabric ceiling that mimicked our local mall’s ceiling. She hung it with fishing line on the side walls of our gym.

We collected shopping bags which were used for centerpieces (stuffed with tissue). I also saw an idea for usingshopping bags to put plants or flowers in them. Our committee didn’t use that idea, but I loved it.  

The Allen's got a guy in town to sell plastic trays to us for $1 each (See picture above with plastic trays). We figure we will save them for future activities. 

The Allen's also went to Lowe’s and asked for an appliance box. They used it to make into a cover for our church garbage can. They slapped some signs on the side to make it look like a mall trash can.  

We also had a ward photographer set up shop in the food court. We brought sunglasses, crowns, feather boas, etc. for people to wear in the pictures. (Picture 1Picture 2Picture 3Picture 4).  Our photographer took pictures when people finished eating and also took some during the classes.

Following are the other shops in our Food Court: 
1. Dion’s Pizza (Pizza—actually purchased from Dion's)
2. Panda Express (Mandarin Chicken and Rice)
3. Fresh Choice (Salad)
4. Auntie Anne's (Chocolate/caramel pretzel rods)
5. Cinnabon (Cinnamon rolls)
6. Mrs. Fields Cookies (Chocolate chip cookies)
7. Image Shots (Photo Booth)
Stores and Their Themes

I went online and found web pages for our local malls. I chose stores from those malls. I suggest you do the same. After I came up with the stores, I came up with general themes. I then searched for talks that could give store owners ideas for their 5-minute presentations/sales pitches. Although I gave them direction, I left it up to the store owners to use their own inspiration for their messages.  

Click here to see the letter we gave each store owner. You may use any of our ideas or come up with your own. Here is a summary of our stores with their themes.
Shoe Fitters (Comfortable shoes) — Do not judge others--Walk a mile in her shoes. The store owners decided to do a Wizard of Oz theme. They suggest using a glitter glue pen on the ruby slippers on their handout before laminating it. I have a YouTube video of part of their class that you can view to get an idea of what they did to get the “Do not judge” message across.   

Object Lesson - "Don't Judge"
Follow the Words of the Prophet Handout
Judge Not 'Shoe Fitters' (talk)

Things Remembered (Gifts) — Journaling or any other spiritual things to remember. The store owner came up with a bunch of things that we should remember: Go to the temple, be faithful, we are of a divine nature (daughters of a King), we have spiritual gifts, etc. You can see some of the photographs I took that show scripture examples for all of these things.  BTW…The teacher really outdid herself. She made everything...(sewed the leather-like fabric and added paper to make journals, dipped the candles, MADE every single crown and scepter, etc.).



GNC Live Well (Vitamins, supplements, beauty)
 —The theme is "Living Well.” The teacher made a bookmark (which I don’t have) with the following quote from Richard G. Scott:  "As you continue to center your mind and heart in [the Lord], He will help you have a rich and full life no matter what happens in the world around you."

How to live well amid increasing evil (talk)


  1. Journeys (Shoes and apparel) — The theme is "Life's Journey. The store owner decided to base her class around the story "Welcome to Holland." 

    She used a Joy Saunders Lundberg quote: "Always walk toward the light, and the shadows of life will fall behind you." 

    Here are two of her object lessons:  Object Lessons and Helps
    Passport Handout: InstructionsPrintable 1Printable 2



  1. Kay Jewelers (Jewelry Store) —This store’s theme was "Developing Talents--no two diamonds are alike but are still jewels." I was able to get a friend of mine to set up her jewelry for this store. Look for a Premier Jewelry representative to possibly help you out. We can’t sell or promote items at church, but if someone asks about the jewelry, you can have them contact the person after the activity if they are interested.  

    8 Kay Jewelers Gift Cards
    Developing Our Talents



  1. The Body Shop (Lotions, fragrance, etc.) —The theme is "taking care of our bodies." This theme will have some flexibility. The store owner decided to make her Body Shop into a jungle. 

    Take Care - Body Shop


    Verizon (Cell Phones)
     — "Keeping texting from taking over our lives; cell phone etiquette, etc." The store owners made sure to talk about the positives and negatives of cell phone texting. They talked to parents about learning the technology in order to communicate with their children. They also talked about appropriate texting (not during church, etc.). They were also able to get some signs and paraphernalia from a Verizon store. 

    Keep Texting From Taking Over


    Bloom (Women's fashions) —The theme is "Strengthening Family Relationships. The store owners decided to decorate with plants and flowers as opposed to clothing. They used the following for example their theme: The stake president was inspired to liken his neighbor’s care for her garden to the care we should give our families. In his stake conference address he talked about his neighbor’s garden. He observed that if we want our relationships with family members to flourish and bloom, we need to “stay close to the garden”— to spend time with family members every day, talk with them, express appreciation for them, and look for little signs of potential problems that can be resolved before they become overwhelming. I didn’t get a copy of their handout as I had to leave that class early. My daughter said she thought they gave out a paper with quotes from the talk I gave them. I used the family proclamation handout idea from The “Things Remembered” store as that would be an appropriate handout for this store.

    Strengthening Families Bloom
    Strengthening Families - Our Sacred Duty


    Forever 21
     (Young Women's fashions, jewelry, shoes, etc.) — "Exercising Restraint Pays off Later." This store owner used an object lesson of showing a small cookie that class members could choose to eat at that moment or if they waited half an hour, they would get a big Dairy Queen Sundae.  The handout was a fortune cookie with the saying: Confucius once said that “He who contains himself goes seldom wrong.”  

    It's worth the wait - Forever 21
    The power of self-mastery
    Self-Control: The kingly virtue


    Hallmark (Cards and gifts) —“When you care enough to do your very best!” They used three great quotes for a greeting card handout. This was probably my favorite talk that I found out of all the talks I found for store owners to base their classes on. They used cards and gifts to decorate their store. They also had some big posters to put on the walls in addition to a Gold Crown that they made.

    What does it mean to be do our best?
    Outside Hallmark Card
    Inside Hallmark Card

    After everyone went to each store, we met back in the gym for our Relief Society president to give the final message that “The Master Is in Charge.” I had her consider John 15:5 for her remarks

    I made up MasterInCharge Credit Cards as their final handout of the evening. The cards were printed on glossy paper. I laminated each page before cutting the cards out (I used laminating film that was 5 mil in thickness). We suggested that everyone put this card in their wallets to remind them of our final message.  

    Whew! This activity took a lot of work with help from a lot of people, but I believe we accomplished our goals which were to:

    - Show the sisters in our ward how much we love them by working hard to come up with a spiritually uplifting (and fun) activity.

    - Let our Young Women look forward to becoming members of Relief Society.  

    Best wishes to those of you who wish to do a mall-themed activity! I hope this information is helpful in some way.