Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Polar Express- Texas style

Last week we had our Christmas Ward social. 

Deep in the heart of Texas!

Reading The Polar Express with a Texas twist

We served bbq sandwiches, potato salad, beans, chips, and water.

Our Texas Polar Express.

After the ride, Santa came and the children each got a bag. In the present was a cd with next year's program music, an ornament, and some candy.

Then we served cookies and hot chocolate and sang a few Christmas carols.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christ-Centered Christmas

Every year I feel the pull to make Christ the center of our focus this time of year. There is so many good ideas out there and the focus is finding balance in it all.

Here is what we are doing-

Acts of service- We are trying to do one a day. (More on this after Christmas.)

Christmas Music- I found a wonderful playlist of Christ-centered Christmas songs here.

Christmas with the Prophets- This unit study looks great!

Scripture advents- There are so many cute one on the internet.

Some family focused traditions include-

The Monday night before Christmas we pile in the car to drive around looking at the lights.

Receiving new pj's on Christmas Eve

Getting together with extended family on Christmas Eve and acting out Luke 2

Reading a Christmas picture book each night

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Calling

Today I was called to serve in the Primary Presidency.

Here is my new pinterest board.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2013 Young Women in Excellence- Daughter of a King

 We had our Young Women in Excellence last night.

For the program we decided to adapt a few Jenny Phillips programs. We shortened and combined her Daughter of a King and Happily Ever After. For one of the videos, we made our own slide show from pictures of the last year.

 Then we had our coronation of the princesses. We asked the parents to write a few sentences about what makes their daughter unique and a princess. We read this and then each girl was given a wand with Daughter of a King written on it. (We invited the ward to come and the primary girls were invited to wear princess dresses. I had the girls give the wands when we were finished reading.)

The two mutual nights before, the young women were divided up into decorating and refreshment committees. This was a wonderful way to get them involved and to remind them to come! It worked out well and I was impressed with the finished product.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 Young Women in Excellence- Daughter of a King

We're gearing up for our Young Women in Excellence in October.

I have a pinterest board full of fun ideas.

I printed off this image as a 4x6 at Walmart and used it as the front of our invitation.

On the back I wrote out all of the details and taped it with gold washi tape to dress it up.

We are combining two Jenny Phillips programs to adapt to what the Laurels wanted.

We also split up the Mia Maids and Beehives into a decorating committee and a refreshment committee. We will use the next two mutuals to plan and prepare for our Young Women in Excellence.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

2014 Theme.... Come Unto Christ

The 2014 mutual theme has been announced. It will be

“Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” (Moroni 10:32).

Here is my pinterest board for the theme. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Etiquette Dinner

Last night we had an etiquette dinner. We decided to keep it simple for this time and if they liked it, do a formal one later. 

Appetizer- salad
Main course- Manicotti, breadsticks, and green beans
Dessert- cheesecake with topping options

The week before the young women made the manicotti and the dough for the breadsticks and then froze them. The youth were given invitations and asked to r.s.v.p. with one of the young women leaders. We decorated with black and white. I had a classical station through Pandora to play while they ate. The dress was Sunday best.

We started off in the young women's room with basic etiquette. Then we moved into the gym. I was going to have the young men escort the young women and pull out their chairs but we were missing several of our young men. After serving the salads, the youth listened to some dining etiquette. During the main course, the youth were allowed to ask questions. 

Car Care

The end of july we held a Car Care Night. We had three brothers help out so that we could have 3-4 girls per vehicle. They checked fluids, changed a tire, discussed emergency procedures, and had some dirty hands to show for it.

How many young women does it take to change a tire?

I gave them a handout about car care after we were done.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Standards Night Live

 We watched a few segments off Standards Night Live tonight for mutual. It was entertaining but educational and the young women enjoyed watching. He puts it in a non-confrontational way and does a wonderful job of relating to the youth. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of it!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Book of Mormon Read-a-thon

Our youth conference this year will be Moroni's Quest, Book of Mormon themed. They challenged the stake to read or re-read the Book of Mormon before youth conference. We had talked the last several months about doing a read-a-thon and the challenge confirmed the need to do it. A few weeks before the event, we mailed letters out the parents with details. We held it over a three day period, Friday- 1pm-10pm, Saturday- 8am-4pm, and Monday- 1:30pm-7pm. We completed the Book of Mormon and had some great discussions about it. 

For food, we brought snack things- water bottles, candy, trail mix, gum, etc. We kept the food simple for meals- baked potatoes, pulled pork sandwiches on rolls, pancakes, and a deli tray.

For the reading part, we spent 90% of the time listing to the podcasts at 1.5x speed. We did stop every once in a while and take turns reading but the podcasts were able to move faster. 

We held it in the gym for Friday and Monday and stayed at a counselor's house for Saturday. It was nice to spread out in the gym and have everyone take a good amount of space for wiggle room.

We brought the soft cover Book of Mormons and highlighters for the young women to use if they did not bring their own. I also brought a reading chart for the young women to color in as they read along.

Things that helped keep us awake- finger nail polish, snacks, coloring pages, walking around the gym. I also downloaded some songs to my iPad for brain breaks- Cha Cha Slide, Hokey Pokey, Sid Shuffle 

Assessment- I think it was a great project and I think the young women enjoyed it. The reading chart was a great way for everyone to keep up. I don't think I would recommend trying to do it in less than three days, so much information packed in so little time. In fact, I think if we do this again, I would stretch it out to four or five days. The brain breaks were a great way to move and then quickly re-group.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Talent (and Non-Talent) Show

In May the young women were in charge of the ward social. We decided to do a Talent (and Non-Talent Show) and used many ideas from Awesome Ward-Missionary Ideas.

For a few weeks before, we passed around a sign-up sheet. We emphasized that we were encouraging a variety of talents and that there would be no judging involved.

Since we do not have a stage, we used the overflow as our stage. We had bag pipes, whistling the Star-Spangled Banner, air guitar, hula dancing, stories, harps, lip-syncing, etc.

We also had display tables out for non-preforming talents. People brought artwork, science fair projects, stories, etc.

For refreshments, we asked everyone to bring a finger food.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What is the priesthood?

Last Sunday I had a young man from our ward come in and explain what the priesthood was and how it blessed his life.

Then one of the young women used the talk, "This is My Work and My Glory" by Elder Ballard to teach about the priesthood.

Understanding the Priesthood quiz.  Great for lessons, Family Home Evening and personal study!

With the remainder of the time, we completed and discussed the priesthood quiz found at The Redheaded Hostess.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Personal Progress Mentors

As we have thought about ways to help keep our young women going with their Personal Progress, I stumbled across an amazing idea at What We Did in Mutual. They started a summer mentoring program where the young women were paired up with a relief society sister that could teach them a skill they wanted to learn.

So I took the idea and ran with it. The young women picked out their skills and last Sunday I pasted around a sign-up sheet in Relief Society. On the top of the sign-up sheet, I wrote this message- "The Young Women are working hard on their Personal Progress and we would like you to help mentor. If you can help with any of the skills listed below, please sign up. We are asking for 10 hours of help, above and beyond that is up to you. The young women will get in contact with you soon to begin making a plan. I know that this will be a blessing to our girls. Thank you!" I also told them it was up to the sisters to decide if they wanted to donate materials that would be needed for the project and to not feel obligated to do so.

I was so excited when the clipboard came back and each young woman had at least one sister volunteering to help. I think this will be a great opportunity for the young women to learn a new skill and gain another friend in the ward.

We have one young women who is almost done with her Personal Progress, so I think what we'll do is ask for a sister to call her up during the summer and plan out how to finish up her Personal Progress.

At the end of the summer, we will have some kind of thank you for the sisters that mentored.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Candy Bar Men

For mutual last night, we played the "Candy Bar Men" game. I remember playing this when I was in Young Women and it is still fun to watch today.


Candy Bar Men
1. Get several different kinds of candy.
2. Write out descriptions of what that candy bar might be like as a husband. There are several examples here. Because of availability, I wrote out several more descriptions for the candy I could find. (see below)
3. Let the young women pick out a candy bar or cut the descriptions up and let each girl choose one out of a bowl.
4. Have the young women take turns reading their "husbands." 

Since we have done this once with a few of our girls, I chose to make them draw their husbands out of a bowl. After we went around, I had each leader share one thing that has helped to make their marriage successful. Then we completed Integrity #7 in our personal progress books. 

After we were done the young women looked through wedding picture albums of the leaders and the young women asked us to share our proposal stories.

Candy Bar Descriptions

AIRHEADS- This guy is handsome and rich. You got married in the temple but he can’t seem to remember any important dates- like your birthday or your anniversary. He doesn't think it is a big deal since he brings home the money each month. He tells you to go buy your own presents so that he won’t have to remember them. He is constantly changing jobs trying to find the “perfect one”. He does have his good qualities though, like making sure you live close to your parents and playing with the kids.
Junior Mints- This guy has a fun personality which makes up for the fact that he is short. He works several small jobs to put himself through school because he believes education is important. He loves your two kids and is saving up to take the family to Disneyland when he graduates. He likes to be clean and sometimes takes too long checking himself out in front of the mirror. He makes sure to take you out for your weekly date night and loves you dearly.
Good & Fruity- This guy is full of games and fun. He loves to play sports, take you to visit new cities, and live in the moment. He plans fun last minute dates and loves to cook exotic food. Every time you try to talk about the future he shrugs you off. You eloped at city hall but he won’t sit down to talk to you about getting sealed in the temple. He hopes for kids sometime in the future but tells you not to stress about it now. He always has friends staying at your house and it is always noisy.
Nerds- This guy graduated top of his class in high school and in going to law school right now. He doesn't care about fashion and you have to make sure you check him to make sure he matches before he leaves the house. You are working right now to put him through school and hope that he’ll be able to get a job as soon as he graduates. You live in a tiny apartment but it is filled with love and support. He doesn't have free time for dates but lets you have girl’s night out. You are waiting to have children. He serves when he can in the church.
Sour Patch Kids- This guy is working on being more positive. You recently got married in the temple after he had a sour divorce. He has 6 children and you are trying to figure out how to become an instant mom in all of this. He is bitter about his divorce and the problems that it brings but he tries helps out at home. He hopes one day to feel less-stressed. At the end of the day he is usually too tired to want to talk or do anything with you. He faithfully goes to work, brings home the money, and tries to make sure his bad attitude doesn’t rub off on the family.
Jolly Rancher- This guy is a cowboy who moved you out on a ranch in the middle of no-where. He has a swearing problem but tries not to cuss in front of you or other ladies. He doesn’t go to church because he says it too far to drive and he can’t leave the animals that long. He shows you off at expensive restaurants and loves to take you dancing. He doesn’t want kids at the moment and says that he has enough work with the ranch. He’s positive though and makes you feel good about yourself when you are around him.
Starburst- This guy has a dreamy voice. You meet at a stake talent show where he sang “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” and you feel head-over-heels in love! He decided to pursue Broadway and is in the traveling tour. You live in a travel trailer following the group. Because of all the traveling you don’t see your family or friends much. He takes you to the closest chapel on Sundays but because of the performances, he is only able to usually go to Sacrament meeting. He says that when the children start going to school, he will find a local career and a place to settle down.
Butterfingers- This guy is clumsy. You met at a stake dance and he kept stepping on your toes. He was sweet about it and apologized each time. He wanted to make it up to you by making sure you had a fun night. He won your heart and soon you were married. You never go dancing but he loves to play board games with you after the kids go to sleep. He has to travel for his job so you rarely get to go out on dates. He loves his calling as cub scout leader but you usually have to prepare his activities. He doesn’t help out with the cooking or cleaning but he helps keep the children busy.
Almond Joy- This guy is not the most fit and has a quirky personality. He is positive and tries to find happiness in any situation you face. He has recently lost his job but he is working hard to find new employment. He compliments you every day and likes to leave you silly love notes. You never know what crazy idea he’ll come up with next but he always make sure you are happy. He is active in the church and loves working with you in your calling as nursery workers.
Crunch- This guy is respectful and wants to best for his wife. He is a hard worker. You met through a dating website and got married quickly. He was in a car accident that put him in a wheelchair. He doesn’t let it affect his attitude and his fun, positive personality draws other people to immediately like him. You have to help him with things around the house. He serves in the young men’s presidency and takes you to the temple monthly.

Take 5- This guy is a cool and has an amazing tan. He loves surfing and going to the beach. He proposed to you on a moonlit night during a dinner cruise. He doesn’t want to go to college but makes enough to pay the bills. He likes to do surfing competitions and wants to move to Hawaii someday. He has a relaxed personality and helps keep you calm when you stress about things. He is supportive. Though you have not been able to have children he says it is okay and maybe one day you will adopt. He doesn’t want to take the time to visit your family who live far away but sets aside money so that you can go whenever you want.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Last night for our combined activity we planned the game sardines. 

One person is chosen to be it and finds a hiding spot. The others go in search of the one hiding. When they find the hidden person, they hid with them. The last person to find the group is then the hider.

It worked out well for our activity and the youth seem to have a fun time.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Around the World in 80 Minutes (or 40)

Tonight the young women did a world tour of activities. We copied off the information from Sisters in Zion and had a blast.

Game: Paper Dragon- The YW had to unwrap a roll of crepe paper around their arms. First team to finish won.

Game: Ice Stack- See how many ice cubes you can stack, one on top of each other.

Game: Tortilla Toss- See how far the YW can throw the tortilla.

Game: Tied Up Tea Party- Group sits in a circle with wrists tied to the young woman next to her. Unwrap and eat the treat. First team to finish wins.

Game: Mummy Wrap- Wrap one young woman with three rolls of toilet paper. First team completed wins.

Game: Root Beer Chug- Chug a two liter bottle of Root Beer as a team.

Game: Tribal Drums- Each participant is blindfolded. The team must find the drummer.

(No pictures. Sorry!)

Game: Pizza Toss- Toss pizza dough over the head and back to the next teammate. Best dough wins.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why do we need the Book of Mormon?

The Sunday before I asked all the young women to come next week with their favorite Book of Mormon scripture and explain why. As they presented, I wrote the reference with the young women's name. I noticed that all of the young women, without watching each other, got out their notebooks and wrote it down. (YAY!)

I am going to make a handout with all of the references so that they can keep it in their scriptures.

We had a great discussion that took the whole time. At the end I gave them a scripture chain handout that helped them create a thesis statement for the Book of Mormon. The handout is found here

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Comedy Night

Tonight for our combined activity, we watched a few Studio C sketches.

Studio C is a comedy group on BYUtv and we as a family have loved watching it. When I asked the young women if they had seen or heard of it all I got was deafening silence. So I was excited to show them so fun, clean comedy.

We also had a concession stand with candy, popcorn, and water.

Fun, easy, successful night!