Sunday, September 4, 2011

Broken Links

If you are here trying to access some of the materials, I am so sorry but many of the links are broken. The server they were being hosted on is no longer there and most of the documents were lost. I have all of them archived on external harddrives, but it will probably take me a couple of months (at least) to find them all and get the links redone. I am so sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Welcome to Young Women!

So, this year we have just two girls who are turning 12.  One last month, and one this month.  And, actually, none of my current beehives leave until September!  Our poor Mia Maid counselor though - she loses both of her Mia Maids before the summer ends.  She'll have nobody for a couple of months, while I'll have 7 girls!  But I digress.

I am really excited for getting these new Beehives excited about Young Women and Personal Progress and all that.  So, my advisor (have I mentioned how much I love my advisor?  She's marvelous!) and I decided to visit both of them and their parents in their home to explain everything and bring them a "Welcome to Young Women" gift bag with everything they'll need.  They're pretty cute, if I do say so myself.  And I do!  (Plus both of these girls are the oldest girls in their families, so this is all new to all of them.)

In addition, we also gave them a cute journal that we had leftover from New Beginnings last year.  Inside the bag was a True to the Faith book, For the Strength of Youth, a Personal Progress book and journal.  And the wallet versions of For the Strength of Youth book and the Young Women theme.  We also included President Hinckley's To the Parents and Leaders of Youth booklet, and the user's guide for the video of the same title.  We didn't include the video, but it does list all of the talks on the video, so we thought it was a good resource.  We also included a tiara.  (Because every girl needs a tiara, but more about that in a minute.)

We sat down and explained the Personal Progress program and told the new Beehive about some of the projects the girls have done and what we've done as a class - like the FHE in a Jar kits, then teaching FHE and memorizing The Family - A Proclamation the the World (these were two separate activities).  We explained to the parents that we wanted them to know everything that we are doing in Young Women so they can support and help their daughter to make and keep goals.  We told them about mutual - when and where we meet and what kinds of activities we do.  We discovered that the Bishop already gave our new Beehive a For Strength of Youth book when he interviewed her, which worked out perfectly because it is very important for parents to have their own copy, so we designated that one for the parents.

Now for the very special tiara.  Acutally, this whole thing kind of grew around this.  I saw them on clearance at Claire's for only $5.  Although, I've seen some at Wal-Mart on the wedding aisle near the crafts for not much more than that.  So, I saw the tiaras and bought them on the spot.  I'm sure so many feel the same as me, that what you teach and what you feel is important for the girls to know revolves so much around the experiences you had as a teenager and preteen.  Well, that and what the spirit inspires you to teach and instill in these girls.  :)  Well, for me, a very important moment in my life and one that will always hold a very special place in my heart is when I went through the Temple to receive my own endowments.  In fact, every time I speak about it I get teary-eyed and even just thinking about it and writing about it, I get a little choked up.  Anyway, this particular experience is so special to me not because it changed my life, but because it was then that it was confirmed to me that I actually was a princess!  I had always been told in Young Women and at EFY and other experiences in my youth that I was a princess because Heavenly Father was literally my father and that I could grow up to be like Him (albeit in Eternity).  And I always believed it, but when I went through the Temple that first time, I suddenly knew it.  It didn't change who I was, because I was already a good person who had been preparing herself for the Temple her entire life, it changed the way I thought about myself.  And that wasn't even such a dramatic change - not a 180 or anything like it.  I always had self-confidence (sometimes more than I needed!), in fact, I think it humbled me more than anything.  I am mean, who was I to be endowed with such beautiful potential?  

Anyway, in fewer words and hopefully in a way for a newly 12 year old girl to apply, I tried to convey all those feelings.  This year, and really this new General Young Women Presidency, want so much to focus on getting these girls worthy to go the Temple and no goal could be closer to my heart than this.  So, I hope that by really helping the girls to understand that they truly are princesses and what it means to act and treat others that way will help them to live better lives and be worthy for Temple attendance, whether it be baptisms for the dead or eventually their own endowments, sealings and other work for the dead.  And all this is what that tiara represents.

So, sorry about the long personal experience, but truly, I love these girls and love the job I have been given to do with them - and I love the Temple.  And I love tiaras!

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Beginnings

So, I was in charge of New Beginnings.  Yikes!  It was quite the project.  But we had it this last Wednesday and everything went smoothly.  I guess you could say our theme was the Mutual theme scripture for this year: 1 Timothy 4:12.

I asked the Beehives what they wanted to do to help.  One of the girls offered to do the table display - which I told her she could use for her 10 hour project.  She did a good job.  Two of the other girls made cupcakes and another girl made note cards with each of the Values, their scriptures and quotes on them for a part of our program.

We gave the girls their invitations in church a couple of weeks beforehand, and mailed out invites to their parents.  We also invited our new beehives for this year and their parents.  We've only got two and they will be joining us at the end of this month and in the middle of March.  So, we figured it would be good to have them there.  And as a special treat for them, our secretary who used to be a florist, made them adorable corsages.  I think it was a nice touch.

Our program consisted of the typical opening songs and prayers.  (Opening Song: "Teach Me to Walk")  We had 7 of the YW introduce the values (using the cards one of the Beehives made) and each wore the corresponding color also.  After that, we had a speaker talk about the new value: virtue.  It was going to be our YW president, but after her daughter was in a really bad accident and ended up in the hospital just days before, I told her not to worry about it.  So, I prepared and gave the talk.  I really loved it too!  I hadn't taken the time yet to read all the resources on the Church website yet, and reading them with the purpose of giving a talk to the YW makes things a little more meaningful.  I was excited about the new value before, but now I really see it's purpose and I LOVE it!  (You can find a link to the talk at the bottom.)  After my talk, we had one of our Laurels who had completed her Personal Progress speak about her experience with it.  She gave the parents some pointers and shared her testimony.  She did a great job.  Then it was time for a musical number from another of our Laurels.  Our final speaker was the Bishop who spoke about the Mutual theme scripture.  Our bishop is great and did a fantastic job!  And then ended with a song and a prayer followed by cupcakes in the kitchen.  (Closing song: "True to the Faith")

We planned a gift for the girls also, but alas, it did not make it in time.  So, we will give it to them on Sunday.   We got vinyl lettering for them saying "Be thou an example" for them to put on the mirrors, or in their cars - wherever.  Because we didn't have their gifts, I did make a handout from one of the quotes in my talk (which I mounted on black cardstock).  You can find a link to that also.  And I just want to note that I made the invitations (find link at bottom), programs (no link, since it has the girls full names on it), and the handouts all matching.  It was lovely!

Overall, I give the night a B+.  It went well, but I think I've figured out how to do things better and perhaps make things more interesting, if I ever do this again.  (Not that I'm volunteering!)

And, of course, I remembered to bring my camera, but forgot to take pictures.  Doh!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

FHE in a Jar

Last night for our mutual activity, we put together FHE in a Jar kits.  I must admit, they turned out pretty dang cute.  I got the original document of strips from  But when I opened the word document, the formatting came up really bad, so I copied and pasted it into an Excel spread sheet and fixed the formatting to make it nice and uniform.  Each strip contains a song, scripture(s), and a question to discuss.  So easy!  This would also be good for scripture study/journalling.  I thought to make it a complete FHE there should be treats!  So, I got on and searched for "easy treats" and "easy desserts."  So, you have 7 pages of FHE lesson strips, and 5 pages of easy recipe strips.  I printed the lesson strips on white paper, and the treat strips on colored paper so you could tell the two apart and pick one of each.  I also made some cute tags to put on the outside.  In Jenny Smith's document, the first page is a tag and instructions.  Just so you know.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Manual 1 - Lesson 4: The Holy Ghost

I got to teach last week!  My advisor was speaking in church and didn't want to have to worry about preparing a lesson also, so she asked if I would mind teaching.  Hooray!  The lesson was on the Holy Ghost.  I really liked the lesson suggestion to have the girls write down the chalkboard discussion and take the paper home to put by their beds.  That way, when they say their prayers in the morning and at night, they will be reminded of the things they need to do to be WORTHY of the companionship of the Holy Ghost and also of the ways that the Holy Ghost can BLESS their lives.  I personally felt the Spirit telling me that if the girls would pay attention to the ways the Holy Ghost can bless their lives their lives and if they would look for those blessings at the end of everyday, that they would see those blessing and miracles and that it would be a great experience for them.  I hope they do it!  I need to do it also!

So, here are those handouts that I made.  If the design in the background is too light when you print it, let me know.  I print using a color laser printer and I have noticed that it prints significantly darker than it looks on my screen or when printed by an ink jet printer (photo or otherwise).  Again, there are two files - the original done on Adobe Illustrator and a .pdf file that can viewed using Adobe Acrobat.

Babysitting Workshop Mutual Activity

For our combined YW activity last week we did a babysitting workshop.  My advisor put this together and did a great job!  We gave mini classes on some of the basic stuff - like how and when to change a diaper, how to soothe and swaddle a baby, and what to do in emergency or stressful situations.  We put together little first aid kits with hand santizer (in fun colors and scents - you can get them at Target), bandaids (with cartoon characters on them), and alcohol wipes.  We had a baby changing race (the picture is of two of our leaders getting in on the action).  And we put together file folder games to put into babysitting kits.  I think it went pretty well.  (Even though none of our Laurels showed up - turkeys!)

Christmas Party

This year, for our Christmas party we did a white elephant gift exchange, made ornaments, ate yuumy Caramel Marshmallow Corn (recipe at bottom), and gave the girls their Christmas presents.

The ornaments were Christmas trees made out of little teeny tiny spools.   My advisor was the one who put that together.  She did a great job.  I'm sure you could Google it and find a tutorial, but as I was late and didn't get to make one, I am little or no help.

As for our gifts to the girls this year, I am quite proud of us.  I think they turned out so super cute.  We gave the girls treasure boxes to put all of their handouts and things that they get in YW's in.  We got pretty photo boxes at the craft store for 50% off!  We were just going to get plain brown boxes and paint them or do something to dress them up, but this way was cheaper.  We did make pretty little ribbon flowers for the outside by the girl's names.  And on the inside, we put a plain piece of paper and a tiny little binder clip glued to the inside of the lid so that it could be propped up at the end of the box and whatever handout was their favorite could be displayed.  We had  a lot of fun as a presidency one morning putting all these together.  We also included some yummy peppermint hot chocolate.  The hot chocolate is sort of a tradition for YW Christmas presents.

Caramel Marshmallow Corn
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 sticks butter
4 cups mini marshmallows

Combine ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl.  Heat in microwave for 45 seconds - 1 minute.  Take out and stir.  Continue heating and stirring in 30 second intervals until most of the sugar is dissolved.  

Add 2 bags of microwave popcorn and stir till coated.

* Note:  I have tried it with less butter (like 1 - 1 1/2 sticks) and only brown sugar (one cup - unpacked) and it was still really good.  I also think adding nuts makes it super yummy.  My favorite is cashews!