Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Literature Competition

The Arizona Chapter of American Mothers opens the literature contest to all mothers in Arizona.
A cash prize of $25 will be awarded to the winner in each category.
Rule: Applicant must be a mother and an Arizona resident.
Entrants may submit one entry in each category. Your entry may reflect the aspects of family life and motherhood.
 All submissions may be sent to:
American Mothers Inc. Literature Contest
c/o Joan Sowards
1437 N. Coleman Circle
Mesa, AZ 85201

Or send as an attachment to:
Joansowards (at) gmail (dot) com

Entries must not bear the author’s name.

Categories are:
Essay          (under 1000 words)
Short Story (under 2000 words)
Poetry         (under 50 lines)

Deadline is October 1, 2015. Please use the following form as a cover letter if mailing, or include the following information in the body of your email:

Check Category:    Essay _______  Poetry ______ Short Story _______

Entrant’s Name _____________________________________________________

Address ___________________________________________________________

Email ______________________________________________________________

Phone # _____________________________________________________________

Name of Entry _______________________________________________________

AZAMI State Convention

There will be a State Convention of the Arizona American Mothers on Saturday, Oct 24 at the Interstake Center, 830 E 2nd Ave, in Mesa.

The business meeting will begin at 11am where we will new elect officers.  At 11:30 we will have a brunch and a program, including traditional dances performed by Native American, Latina and Polynesian mothers.  There is no cost for the convention.

Please call Susan Ray if you would like to help 480-773-1447

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Interview with Courtney Gehl, 2015 AZ Young Mother of the Year

Courtney and husband, Jason
1.  What is an important thing to teach children and how have you taught it in your home?
 How to love the way that God loves us.  To love without strings, without condition.  If I can help them understand how much God loves us and forgives us with His grace, then they will understand how He wants us to love others in the same way.
Jackson (7), Hudson (6), Nixon (4), Ruby (2), Wilson (1)
2. What are a few traditions you do with your family that may not be thought of as traditions, but that bind your family together.  Why are they important to you?
 One of the biggest things we do as a family is watch and play sports.  With the exception of our family involvement in church, our kids LOVE to play and watch sports.  And my husband and I are avid sports fans.  Jason is from Wisconsin, we love the Badgers, Packers & Brewers.  So that keeps us busy.  That is literally the only TV I think we watch, is sports! :)

3.  What is a caution that you would give to mothers with young children?

I would tell mothers with young children to RELAX.  The more kids you have, the more you realize the small stuff doesn’t matter.  If the baby didn’t take all the bottle, if they are a little fussy they probably aren’t getting sick. :)  Don’t worry about things you can’t control.  Take a deep breath, go in the closet and pray for patience and peace, and all will be ok.  If you don’t end up in the ER, its a pretty good day :)
Courtney just returned from the National American Mothers Conference in Washington D.C.  We thank her for representing Arizona with her enthusiasm and love for motherhood.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Meet 2015 Merit Mother, Melissa Wayt

Melissa has two Bachelors Degrees and two Masters Degrees.  Her Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology led her to a second Masters Degree in Social Work.  After achieving multiple Educational Degrees, she worked as a Victims Advocate for Spanish Speakers with the Provo City Police Department.  She then worked as a social worker for the Provo School District.  Melissa supported her husband through Law School before she became a stay at home mother of 3 children.

On a daily basis, she sacrifices her time, talents, and health to raise her children.  She stimulates their minds, teaches and prepares them for their impending education, and spends almost every waking hour researching and preparing new ways to augment their well being and motivate their thirst for knowledge.

Melissa has been an inspiration to those around her and has humbled others with her optimistic attitude despite overwhelming opposition.  She was placed on bed rest in a hospital setting due to complications before the birth of her 3rd son.  The work she put into staying connected to her two boys at home was amazing.  She would have surprises for them when they came to visit her.  Many were things they could do all together while the boys were visiting.  A lot were things that would teach the boys a new skill or reinforce those they were learning.  She also worked to talk to them daily and let them know how much she loved and missed them.

Melissa hopes to volunteer some of her time helping other PPROM mothers cope with the different challenges and fears associated with that hardship.  With her education and experience, she will be able to provide invaluable advice based on experience, as well as comfort to all mothers facing similar hardships.  She recognizes how fortunate her family has been to have overcome such a difficult obstacle resulting in a beautiful, healthy, baby boy, and has the educational experience to assist mothers who have not been as fortunate, to remain hopeful and stay positive. 

Meet 2015 Merit Mother - Marne Trassdahl

Marne Traasdahl was raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, the sixth of ten children and was born into a happy home. During college she was privileged to marry her husband and in time was blessed with four amazing sons which included one set of twins. 

 Marne's philosophy on parenting has everything to do with the proverb: 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime'.  She states, "There’s a beautiful season of providing for your children and nurturing them while they are young. As the years press on you have to teach them to stand on their own two feet and not just expect a so called ‘fish’ every day. In addition to teaching children how to work parents correct, love, and hold children accountable and try again day after day. This includes teaching your children to pray, forgive, serve, overcome adversity, have hope and gratitude, how to taste success humbly, and how to live the golden rule. The list goes on and on but parents must model and teach what they expect from their children. In other words successful parents continue to patiently teach what bait can be used while fishing as their offspring wait for the fish to bite from their pole."

 Marne writes: "As I ponder the word Mom I realize it is actually the word ‘Wow’ spelled upside down. And that pretty much sums up how I feel about being a Mom. It’s been an extraordinary experience that has brought incredible joy and depth into my life. You ask what impact it’s had on me? If we are being honest (which my own mother always taught me to be) it has changed me completely. Motherhood has brought me to my knees, made my heart expand with aches and compassion, taught me about sacrifice and has been a gem of an education. I never dreamt I could love so much, work so hard, or feel such pain when another suffers. I absolutely love motherhood. That doesn’t mean it’s easy but I can see how it is by Design. Of all the things I’ve done, the most cherished title I carry in this life is that of ‘Mother’."

2015 Merit Mothers - Marne Trassdahl and Melissa Wayt

Susan Ray, AZAMI Pres. Marne Trassdahl, 2015 Merit Mother, Peggy Glass, AZAMI Treasurer

2015 Merit Mother, Melissa Wayt

Friday, April 3, 2015

2015 Arizona Mother of Achievement - Janette Gleason

Janette Gleason, a best-selling author and Mompreneur, owns and manages three small businesses with her husband, Joe.  A former schoolteacher, one of Janette’s passions is sharing knowledge with others and helping others go after their dreams to create a lifestyle where they can balance work and family life as she has done. 

After 10 years in teaching, Janette became a stay-at-home mom to care for her family including their
autistic son. Today, Janette thrives on helping women in Arizona and around the world achieve their own success. Her latest book, Transform, reached best-seller status on two categories: direct marketing and marketing and small business. She is working on her third book. 

Janette resides in Surprise with Joe, their three children and their dog, Buddy. When she isn’t running one of their businesses, consulting with clients or being “Mom,” Janette enjoys reading, sewing, traveling and spending time with loved ones.  "My family is my life. I chose to leave my career as an elementary schoolteacher after 10 years because of my belief, and my husband's, that the best thing for our family would be for me to stay at home once we had kids."

"Today, we have three beautiful children: Joey (12), Jianna (10) and Jillian (8). Our son, Joey, has autism, but we didn't know it for the first four years of his life. Once we received the diagnosis, we enlisted all the services we could to help him. He has grown into a fine, young man, who has given me a greater understanding of faith, patience and compassion. Our daughter, Jianna, is our artistic child. Whether we're working on vision boards together or she's picking out accessories for my outfits, her creativity often inspires me. Our youngest, Jillian, is our nature lover. It's a blessing that we live in Arizona so she can enjoy the outdoors year-round. Recently with the cold temperatures blowing through the state, we got some snow. Our family got in the car and drove two hours north so Jillian could see snow for the very first time. We all enjoyed our "snow" day.

My husband, Joe, rounds out our family. We have been married for 16 years. We are partners in every
sense, both personally and professionally. We founded and manage three small businesses: Gleason
Financial Group, LLC;  Gleason Investment Advisory, LLC; and Gleason Consulting Group, LLC."
 Joe, her husband wrote, "What is very rewarding for me as a father is seeing the example as a woman, mom and professional she is for our children, especially our daughters. When she won a Camaro in 2013, it demonstrated to our kids that when you set goals and work hard anything can be possible.  What made it more rewarding for the family is that we were all involved with the contest to win the car." 

Joe continues, "she recently came up with something that has made many of our married friends jealous. She created what we call “51 First Dates.” Since we were friends all the way through college, we never really had a “first date” so in an effort to keep our marriage fun and fresh we are going on 51 first dates! The only rules are that our dates have to involve something we have never done before and NO KIDS! It has been so much fun to fall in love all over again."