Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sasha's 10th Birthday Party

What we did for my birthday party is we went to the classic fun center. We first did bonce houses and climbing till 12:00. Then we skated 12:00 to1:00 during that we did this ticket thing. Where i was in a box with tickets in it and when she pressed a button the would fly in my face. And i would ha-vet to pick up as many as i can and put them in a box. And after i would spin a wheel and see what my prize was. After that i opened presents and we had ice cream and cupcakes. And then we went skating.

This picture is when i was blowing out my candle. And i had a singing candle on my cupcakes. And i was turning ten. We had my birthday at the classic skating center.

This picture was when i was in a ticket thing. You would stand in it and tickets would fly in your face . you had to get as many as you can before time runs out and then you would get a prize.

This picture is when  after the ticket thing we took a group picture with everybody and made silly faces.And there were thirteen people coming to the party.

This picture is when after the group picture we started skating. And i just finished putting my skates on. And my other friends finished to so we took a picture.

 We had a great time and it feels sooooooo great to be ten i cant wait to be eleven.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Jamie's Reflections from Mexico

The most powerful part of our relationship with Hogar de Amor has been watching how my heart, my family, and our relationships have grown and changed over the past five years. It astounds me to realize that my youngest son, Ben, has been visiting Hogar de Amor every year for over a third of his life!
9-year-old Ben at Hogar de Amor in 2012
13-year-old Ben still loves to play with the kids at Hogar de Amor!


Every year, I get more joy and deep satisfaction out of our relationships with the staff and caregivers of Hogar de Amor. 

Keep in mind that I am a card-carrying, Type A achiever. I'm a doer. I'm always busy, always producing, always striving. There's some great stuff about those personality traits - I think one has to be a bit (more than a bit?) hyper-organized to successfully bring 28 people to Mexico and home again. But there's some junk that comes along with it.

Over the years, God has redirected my heart and energy away from what we "do" in Mexico. I still relish bringing down scads of donations. I still enjoy fixing stuff around the houses and working hard to make the orphanage more pleasant and more functional for everybody who lives there. But the reality is that the curtains we sew will need to be replaced in a couple of years and the walls we repaint will get scuffed again. What we "produce" in Mexico just doesn't last.

What lasts are the relationships we forge. Seeing the faces of the church staff light up when they see us because we've built a foundation of respect and support for their ministry - that lasts. Being a familiar face to the kids and giving them some fun, special childhood memories - that lasts. Telling the caregivers through our words and actions that they are loved, supported, prayed for, and valued in good times and in hard times - that lasts. Bonding together as a team and experiencing deep community with the CenterPoint folks - that matters. Worshiping together with our Mexican brothers and sisters, praying together, crying out to God together, and experiencing what it means to be the worldwide body of Christ - that lasts.

I'm a doer. Verses like 1 John 3:18 make sense to me:
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

What God's doing in my life is adding to my "doing" a deeper understanding of verses like 1 Corinthians 13:13:
Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.
It's not the action that lasts forever, it's the love - the relationship.

I am so grateful that at Hogar de Amor I get to be a blessing to the team, the kids, the caregivers, and the church staff. And I am so grateful that I get to be blessed and changed by the depth of the relationships that God has made possible in that amazing place.

Sasha's Reflections from Mexico

By Sasha

i got to spend a week in mexico with people and my family to help an orphanage. in the morning we would do activity's with the kids for about two hours. there were three stations sports, crafts ,and games. after that we did are jobs, like we did screens, making curtains, curtain rods to hang the curtains on. we made a patio we painted the roof and the walls we did electricity on the security lights. we made a door for the apartment the house parents lived in. we made a new sink we got rid of some old toys and sorted clothes.

Leading activities
Enjoying lunch

after that at around 4:00 or 4:30 we walked back to the hotel some of us would hop in the pool and then we would either go out on certain days or have market meals. one day we went down town to a mall and we could by stuff. i bought a bracelet a churro and some ice-cream and earrings. and we left there around four a clock on Wednesday night we had a party with a pinata. and after we had cake because it was my moms birthday. after we ate cake we did worship karen taught them a lesson then we prayed then we went back to the hotel.

on friday we always say by to the orphanage then go to the beach for 2:00 hours then we head back to the orphanage and on saturday we pack up and we hang out until the bus comes. we ride the bus to the airport then we take the plane back to utah!

oh yay! one more thing the trip felt very special to me because i never got to spend time in a orphanage with kids before and i learned that since the kids don't have families its very special to them that people come down to them an spend time with them. it means a lot of them. one of the cool things in mexico is that i met a girl named maria jose and esmerelda got along with me very fast.

Our Trip to Mexico

At the beginning of April I was blessed to take a trip of 28 folks from CenterPoint Church down to Hogar de Amor Orphanage in Colima, Mexico. It was an amazing trip, all the more so because I got to serve alongside 3 of my very favorite people!

You can read all about the trip on our team blog, http://centerpointmexico.blogspot.com and check out the video below to see highlights from our blessed week!


It was a week that touched the hearts of every member of the team as we contributed about 600 hours of labor to jobs around the orphanage and, most importantly, shared countless smiles and hugs!

In addition, the CenterPoint team was grateful to bring a ton of donations to Hogar de Amor, including:
  • Over $7,300 in project supplies and cash donations
  • 587 pairs of socks and underwear
  • 151 tubes of toothpaste
  • 201 toothbrushes
  • 381 packs of crayons
  • 121 coloring books
  • 56 bath towels
  • 79 washcloths
  • 170 hand towels, kitchen towels, and dish rags

Wow!

Thanks again to everybody who was a part of this trip - those who supported the trip financially, who prayed faithfully for the trip, who stayed in the U.S. and kept homes running while the team was away, and who donated supplies for the kids of Hogar de Amor. Your support means so much to us and to them.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

WanYing's Brian Head Race

by WanYing

I was racing at Brian Head for two days and I did slalom and GS. GS is big turns, slalom is little turns.

I am in Sundance ski team and ski team chose to come to Brian Head to race. I've been in ski team for two years. Ski team learns how to be really fast at slalom and GS.

We learn how to edge very well and we do a lot of black diamonds. Black diamonds are pretty steep but there's double black diamonds that are even harder. We do Marmot Gultch, which is a double black.

Something I like about ski team is I get to go skiing every week.

My sister is racing, too. She's on ski team, too.

I am the one above this picture. My sister is the picture I'm writing beside.

This is Saturday and one day we are doing GS and one day we are doing slalom and today we are doing GS.

This is after the race and we are waiting to see my sister going down the hill and I was racing my brother and I won because he crashed into my other brother. I have two brothers. They were on ski team before me, then I decided to go to ski team when I was old enough.

When they crashed both of their skis popped off and their poles went flying.

This is me, my mom and dad, and my sister on the hill. We were going down really fast and it was also a jump.

This is the tubing place that we went to and this is the tubing area. We went tubing for 90 minutes and we went really fast and those tubes with the red nets on it you couldn't hit hard or else you would not be able to tube.

My brother is standing on a magic carpet and when they got to the top he would have to jump off and he would wait for us and we would go down at the same time and race each other down the hill.

This is me and I was tubing down the hill with my family.

On day 2 of racing I was racing slalom and I got 8th place and it was the final YSL Race. YSL Race is Youth Ski League. And I got a medal for it.

Here's a video of my run:

This was my sister and she was racing, too. And she's on slalom, too.

This is my sister, too. She was going off the jump that I was talking about earlier and we went really fast down the jump.

This is me with my medal - my 8th place medal. I felt great about my medal and we waited there for just the medal. We waited like a hour to get it. And it was really worth it!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Returning to Hogar de Amor

T-minus 20 days until we leave for Mexico!!!

Our time serving and forming relationships with the kids and caregivers of the Hogar de Amor Orphanage has been a life-changing highlight of every year. Jamie, Sam, and Ben are excited to return to Mexico again this year and Sasha is thrilled to come with us for the first time! We’ll be traveling with 28 members of of our church family, CenterPoint Church, April 1-8, 2017.

Hogar de Amor Orphanage in Colima, Mexico is home to about 150 children from infants to teens. The orphanage is a ministry of Grupo Amor Church and actively seeks to protect and care for vulnerable local children. The church also continues to provide a home and support for teens as they pursue post-secondary education, as well as education, counseling, and rehabilitation for parents. It’s an amazing ministry.

Our time at Hogar de Amor over the years has been life-changing. It has changed our point of view on how to effectively alleviate poverty across the world and in our own community. These trips have given us the opportunity to support and encourage an amazing group of people who care for “the least of these” with every moment of every day. As a family, we are proud and grateful to support Hogar de Amor Orphanage with our time, prayer, and finances.

We value your support for this trip. More than anything, we are ask for your prayers for us, our team, and those we visit. Please pray for good health, smooth travel, great attitudes, and that our work would be effective and encouraging for all who live at Hogar de Amor. The team will regularly post prayer requests, updates, photos, and reflections at CenterPointMexico.blogspot.com. Please follow along - you are an important member of our support team and we want to share the joys and struggles of this trip with you!

As a family, are grateful to be able to fund the cost of our airfare, room, and board for the trip. We invite you to join us in support the orphanage financially as well. If you choose to donate, your entire donation will go to Hogar de Amor by funding the projects and activities we will complete in Mexico and by directly supporting the care of the orphans. Checks can be made out to CenterPoint Church with a memo of “Mexico” and you can mail or give checks to Jamie or send them directly to CenterPoint Church. Instructions for giving electronically are found under “How Can I Help?” at the top of CenterPointMexico.blogspot.com.

Thanks for being an important part of our support team. We are grateful for your prayer and enthusiasm for this trip and for the kids and caregivers of Hogar de Amor!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy 6th Gotcha Day WanYing!

Today brought Pi Day, ChenXing's birthday, and a wedding. But the very best part? WanYing's 6th Gotcha Day celebration, of course!

Happy Gotcha Day to my favorite Chinesest, ski-goggle-tannedest, pie-lovingest girl. WanYing, we're so grateful that we are yours and you are ours!


Monday, March 6, 2017

One Wild Week - Qualtrics Insight Summit

In 24 hours, I got to share the products I work on with an audience of 3,500...

...attend a private concert with Elton John...

...and ski a few runs with Bode Miller!

You guessed it, it's Qualtrics Insight Summit week again!

Insight Summit is our annual Qualtrics customer and industry conference. From learning from luminaries like Michael Lewis, Clayton Christensen, and Angela Duckworth to hearing from Michael Phelps to meeting Qualtrics clients face-to-face, it's non-stop action. For me, it is a whirlwind of excitement, listening, learning, celebrities, fatigue, exhilaration, and joy.

I had the opportunity to speak on the Summit Mainstage as a part of our one-hour product update again this year and was overwhelmed by the warm response to our new products and features. Sharing the hard work of so many engineering teams with an excited audience of 3500 is quite the rush!

Steve snapped this pic from about 2/3 of the way back in the Grand Ballroom - 3500 people sure is a lot!

Reception to our announcements has been great, and I was even quoted in a couple of articles, which is fun! Check out this article on KSL Herald and this article in The Daily Herald to read more about our product announcements and see my quotes :)

Thursday evening, Summit concluded with a private concert with Elton John! It was a total blast to see such a skilled, talented, legendary pro in his element.

Partying with my peeps!

Insight Summit traditionally concludes with a ski day and Steve and I went up to Park City to show Qualtrics clients around the mountain as employee ambassadors. Skiing with clients is always a highlight of Summit, but this year Qualtrics totally upped the ante by bringing Bode Miller to the slopes!

YES! I SKIED FOUR RUNS WITH BODE MILLER!!!

It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Needless to say, I couldn't keep up with the best men's downhill skier of all time, but as I bid him adieu we exchanged these words:

Jamie: Thanks, that was really fun
Bode: Yeah. You're a good skier

WHAT?!? Yes, you read that correctly - unprovoked and unrequested, BODE MILLER SAID I'M A GOOD SKIER!!! I'm not sure which moment was more thrilling, addressing a crowd of 3,500 or getting a compliment from Bode Miller! And both happened within 24 hours!

Summit 2017 was amazing. Now to rest up and create more amazing products for us to demo at Summit 2018!

For some reason, Steve didn't appreciate my taking a selfie in front of this poster...
...so we'll go with this one instead :)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Forty Under 40 - The Party Continues

The award ceremony for Utah Business Forty Under 40 was this week and boy do I feel special!

A big crew from Qualtrics came up to Salt Lake to celebrate, the reception was lovely, I felt fab in my new dress, the video I recorded in January while suffering through the depths of a head cold wasn't too embarrassing - yeah, the whole afternoon worked.

It all leaves me feeling so grateful.

Grateful to work for an amazing company that I love;

grateful for a husband who supports me and believes in me;

grateful to have dear friends who want the best for me;

grateful to be good at my job;

grateful for the conviction that my efforts in and outside of work make a difference.

It was a heck of a day.






Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Forty Under 40

I'm super honored and excited to be in Utah Business Magazine's 2017 list of Forty under 40! The full article is here, the awards ceremony is tomorrow, and Qualtrics posted this cool blog post, too. Feeling pretty special and very, very grateful right now!


Jamie Morningstar
Staff Product Manager, Qualtrics
Age: 37

Jamie Morningstar always knew she had a knack for math and problem-solving, so the decision to go into software engineering was easy. What she hadn’t realized was that she also had a rare blend of technical, communication and prioritization skills that have made her shine in her career. “By understanding and leveraging my strengths and keeping my eyes open for opportunities around me, I am able to learn quickly and climb the corporate jungle gym effectively,” she says.

Some of her projects at Qualtrics have included a new voice-of-the-customer platform and a text analysis project to make free text comments analyzable and actionable for Qualtrics clients. In its first week of availability, users of the text tools analyzed almost 1.2 million survey responses, improving the speed and quality of analysis for over 3,000 unique users.

Morningstar is also passionate about encouraging and mentoring other women interested in the tech field. She founded Qualtrics Women Leadership Development and leads its mentor group initiative. During the first quarter of the initiative, 167 women at Qualtrics signed up to participate in 31 mentor groups.

Role model: “I love the worldview of Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. She mindfully seeks the enchantment and wonder in the world around her, is a woman of action, embraces her own uniqueness, and constantly inspires those around her to make their world a better and more beautiful place.”

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Best Day of My Life (So Far)

by Sam

Saturday, February 18th has marked a momentous occasion in the morningstar household; Sam's(Henceforth known as me('s?)) 16th birthday. Upon this notable occasion much rejoicing occurred and much candy was consumed. The festivities begun at the early hour of 8:30 (teenagers, am I right?) with the traditional opening of the things.

Many things were received, including, but not limited to:
A box of shiny paper
A driving camera, since I am sixteen and (theoretically) can get my license. Of course, I only have 20 of my 40 required driving hours, so that is a ways out.
I also got an HTC Vive! For the uninformed, the HTC Vive is a virtual reality headset that lets you walk around and interact with the room using sophisticated motion controllers. It is amazeballs.
As you can see, I was very impressed with how black the unplugged headset is.

Skipping to the party, here you can see me swinging the controller around wildly. As an aside, how awesome you feel in VR is directly linked to how dorky you look.

I couldn't leave all the VR to myself though, and so here is one of my friends playing a rather interesting game. As you can see, he is standing on a plank roughly 5 centimeters(Translation: 2 inches) above the ground. To his eyes however, the plank is suspended at the top of a skyscraper, deadly drop to either side. This is a great example of my vr awesomeness theorem, especially when he falls off.

Unfortunately, the human body cannot play videogames forever without food, and needs to eat eventually. Lacking nutrient-rich material, I settled for an ice cream cake.

Lastly, another image of me looking into a darkened headset (You can even see it's unplugged! I fell to the dork side on this one)

[Editor's Note: I asked if we could take a birthday picture. I was told yes, as long as the VR helmet was included. I couldn't argue... it's his birthday and since I haven't seen him without the helmet for the last 24-48 hours it seemed only appropriate]

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