Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Faith #6- The Plan of Salvation and Glow Party

February, Month of Faith

Month: February
Value of the Month: Faith
Color: White
Value Experience #6 
Increase your understanding of the plan of salvation. 
Draw or obtain a picture that depicts the plan of salvation, including the premortal existence, 
birth, mortal life, death, judgment, and life after judgment. 
Using this picture, explain the plan of salvation to your class, your family, or a friend. 
Discuss how knowledge of the plan affects your actions, helps you understand your identity, 
and has strengthened your faith.

(Glow Food)
Rice Krispies Treats topped with melted white chocolate
Sliced Apples with white fruit dip 
(1 container Marshmallow Creme and an 8 oz. carton of cream cheese)
White Popcorn
Lemonade mixed with Tonic Water (quinine in Tonic Water glows)

We started off by taking pictures.  Then when everyone thought we were going to be having a super spiritual all white lesson, we flipped off the lights and had a glow light.  Our lesson was all done by the light of glow. The girls thought it was so cool and the food was glowing too!

We started the discussion by talking about Faith, more specifically what is to have faith in something or someone. To have faith in someone or something, we need to get to know that someone or something.  See if they're trustworthy . Understand their heart.  So in order to have faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father we need to get to know them. Understand what they want for us and what their plan for us is.  

Understanding the Plan of Salvation will help us, in a sense, understand them, their nature and purpose. 

Then we watched this movie.

Click here for the whole link.

We paired off and each girl received a scripture to read from the value experience #6.  They needed to then figure out who went in what order for how their scripture fit into the Plan of Salvation.

Afterward we gave them each their own Plan of Salvation kit. What they were to do was cut it all out and teach it as a lesson or as Family Home Evening.  They had 3 weeks to accomplish it and record it online, and then they received the jar filled with white items.  Here is the Plan we used.

Brightly Street The Plan of Salvation visual aids

I found this Plan of Salvation on the Brightly Street Blog.

As a bonus I thought I'd show you I even painted my toenails white!  We always get into the spirit!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Divine Nature #2- Daughter of a King -Personal Progress

“Who Am I, and Who Can I Become?”

Before We Go On: This is a lesson I taught on the first Sunday as a Presidency Member, 
but it doubled as our introduction for their Value of the Month and Jar.  Normally we do a 
colored Personal Progress Night where we do a lesson like this. But the lesson was a good one to teach on a Sunday. You'll see below where we ended the lesson. Then on the Personal Progress Night, everyone still dressed in blue, but they worked on the worksheet.  I just kept this post as both of those lessons just in case you want to do it all on a Sunday.

Month: January
Value of the Month: Divine Nature
Color: Blue
Value Experience: Divine Nature #2
 "As a young woman you are blessed with divine feminine qualities. Increase your understanding of and appreciation for womanhood. Read Proverbs 31:10–31 and two talks on womanhood from a conference issue of the Church magazines. Review what “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” says about being a wife and a mother. Then ask your mother or another mother you admire what she thinks are important attributes for being a mother. List the attributes in your journal. Then choose one of those attributes and strive to develop it. After two weeks report your success to a parent or leader."

Introduction: “I wanna ask each of you to tell me who you are… 
what's your name, how old are you, what are your interests?  That kind of thing."

Explanation: Those things are their Individual qualities they were born with in this earthly life.  But let’s go back even further than that.  Before we were born, we lived with whom? (Heavenly Father and Mother)

So if we have a Heavenly Father and Mother, then we are heavenly, divine beings ourselves, right?  Thus, just like our earthly father and mother of whom we have received attributes from, we have received attributes from our Heavenly Father and Mother.  Heavenly attributes that were born in heaven before we came to this earth.

What was it like in Heaven?  Here is how one woman wrote a poem about what it was like in heaven before we came.

Give them the poem “I Am A Child of Royal Birth”  and have one girl read out loud.

So, I ask again, who are we?  And who can we become??? The Family Proclamation tells us…

Quote 1- Family Proclamation... (Fill in the blanks on your binder sheet) ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.

In your own words: We all have a divine destiny, given to us before we came to earth.  And we were given special qualities, gifts, talents and promises if we stay on the right path.  This is what we study in Personal Progress with Divine Nature.  We will be learning what our divine birthright is.

READ Psalms 47:7 (God is King)

In your own words: This is your destiny.  We are all daughters of a king.  We are all princesses, destined to be a queen.  We will inherit more treasures than we could ever have here on earth.  But just in case you still don’t believe me, we are going to have a coronation ceremony to dub thee royal eternal princesses.

Make them each a crown (I just used Burger King crowns and used someone else's clipart glued to the front. Despite the picture below they all thought it was awesome.   

Or if you want to make each of them a crown, go here. 

Coronation Ceremony:  As your placing the crown on their head, say “I dub thee, Princess ____(name)_______.”  Then afterward say to all of them… “I give thee this crown so you may see your worth, your divine nature, and your royal lineage.  You are the daughter of a King.  You must act and present yourself like the princess you are.  In your conduct. In your demeanor. In your actions.  You must stand for what God stands for at all times, and in all things, and in all places.  With or without your crown, you will always be princesses and should act as such.   Always wear your invisible crown.”

This was really important that I did each girl by name. It was actually really eye opening for the girls.  

At this point I gave them each a blank piece of paper and glue sticks to glue their handouts on them to see their binders can be used as scrapbooks.  They were made by other people. I'll try to find the links again.  But the one I gave out here was the one about wearing your invisible crown.  The other ones are further down.

Question 1: Do you think it’s important to know your divine heritage and where we came from?  Would that change your life or change your future?
Quote 2- (Have someone read from lesson)… By divine design, we have unique gifts and talents that will help us fulfill our destiny as daughters of God. Knowing who we are gives our lives purpose and helps us make the right decisions.

Scriptures   Let’s review some of our divine qualities and promises?
Genesis 1:26–27 (We are created in the image of God)
Abraham 3:22–23 (Our divine potential is to inherit eternal life)
1 Peter 5:4 (Crown of glory)
James 1:12 (Crown of life)
D&C 59:2 (Crown in the mansions)
Revelations 2:2

Watch video by President Uchtdorf video called “Our True Identity” on the Mormon Channel

 Earthly Princess?  So, “knowing who we are gives our lives purpose and helps us make the right decisions…”  Let me put it this way… if you were an earthly princess, say Princess Kate, or one of the Dutch or Spanish princesses, do you think you would conduct yourself in a special way?  What ways? (This was eye opening for the girls.  They said things like, "Yes, I'd need to talk differently, walk better, dress better.)

I said, "Well you are!  You are real princesses.  So, act the part!"

Read this Story
In a speech President Harold B. Lee gave in 1973 as a BYU Devotional, he said, “One of our Latter-day Saint men during World War II was over in England. He had gone to an officer's club where they were holding a riotous kind of celebration. He noticed off to the side a young British officer who didn't seem to be enjoying himself at all. So he walked over to him and said, "You don't seem to be enjoying this kind of a party." And this young British officer straightened himself a few inches taller than he was before and replied, "No, sir, I can't engage in this kind of a party, because, you see, I belong to the royal household of England."
As our Latter-day Saint boy walked away he said to himself, "Neither can I, because I belong to the royal household of the kingdom of God." Do you realize that, you young people? There are things that you cannot and must not do if you remember your heritage.
I am reminded of the old court jester who was supposed to entertain his king with interesting stories and antics. He looked at the king who was lolling on his throne, a drunken, filthy rascal, doffed his cap and bells, and said with a mock gesture of obeisance, "O king, be loyal to the royal within you." And so I say to you young people today, remember your heritage, and be loyal to that royal lineage that you have as members of the church and kingdom of God on the earth.

Hand out "Be Loyal to the Royal in You" (see above)

Watch Video“Significant in Every Way,” (2:40)

Personal Progress Party Night
At this point we ran out of time so we saved the worksheet and talk for our Personal Progress Night.  Basically to get the jar, they need to read the talk and fill out the worksheet.  The talk is pasted below.  I cut out a few stories to make it easier for them and bolded the portions that there were questions about.  Then at the end they need to interview a mother to find out what divine qualities they have and then choose one of those as a royal princess and work on it for two weeks.  When they report back they get a blue jar.

Worksheet-For New Beginnings last year, we made binders for each of the girls with tabs and worksheets to help them work through some of the experiences.  Some were a little daunted by it so we thought we would sit with them and show them how easy they were.  At this point we gave them the worksheet for Divine Nature #2 with the talk Your Happily Ever After,” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign May 2010.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Good Works #3- Service Scavenger Hunt- Random Acts of Kindness

For this mutual night, it was the week after our Operation Christmas Kindness was introduced. We felt like the girls could use a little help since they were so busy with the Christmas season. So we did a Service Scavenger Hunt. We split into two teams and made it like a Mission Impossible.  The girls showed up to mutual and were given a bag with supplies to carry out some of the acts.  They then were given a letter explaining about the night.  

Operation: Christmas Kindness.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear. You will receive 5 random acts of service to be completed by your team. Remember, this is a team effort, each team member must participate in at least one service for your mission to count. You will need to work fast, not only will you be racing the clock with only 30 minutes to accomplish all 5 services in Operation: Christmas Kindness, but you will also be racing the other team.  Remember to take a picture of each service as proof.  This bag is filled with each service and supplies in the order you should do them.  When you complete your mission you will need to meet at ________________________ for hot chocolate and brownies. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.
Bonus: Say thank you at least 15 times during the entire night.  Not to each other.

In each back there were envelopes with clues for the next stop.  They were numbered on the front and then had items.  I don't have pictures of the envelopes but they were cute.  The girls totally loved this activity.  Here are the activities they did:  I tried to keep them all in the same area.  And I only received pictures from the first group.
Group 1:
1.    Smile to at least 10 strangers-You will be traveling more than the other group so you have an easy one to start with… throughout the night, you must smile or say thank you to at least 10 strangers. Read Service #2 now.
2.    Hot chocolate and treats to army base security guards-Go to Pond security guards and deliver a treat and hot chocolate and mugs (NEED hot chocolate in a big thermos and sign and treats…maybe brownies or something easy… Also need Styrofoam cups)… “You need to finish this in 5 minutes.” Leave the pot of hot chocolate with the security guards.
3.    Quarters on vending machines-Tape a few bags of quarters onto the vending machines at the food court and Coke machine outside of the shoe shop… ”You need to finish this in 5 minutes”… NEED bags of quarters and signs to attach and Tape
4.    Grocery Store Candy Canes – Drive back up to grocery store and each girl hand out candy canes to those who have served us and say thank you… to the front door people, checkers, baggers and stockers.  As many as you can find.  Each group needs 30.  NEED candy canes and signs…”You need to finish this in 10 minutes…”
5.    Caroling-Run to apartments near the grocery store and carol two Christmas songs and give them a plate of treats… “You need to finish this in 10 minutes…” 
Group 2 (px area):
1.    Quarters on vending machines-Tape a few bags of quarters onto the washers and dryers at the laundromat… “You need to finish this in 5 minutes.”  (NEED bags of quarters and signs to attach and tape)
2.    Convenience Store candy canes – Go to px (Walgreens type store) and each person hand out candy canes to the workers, go to the bookstore, go to the food court, go to the shoppette?  As many as you can find. “You need to finish this in 10 minutes.” NEED candy canes and signs.
BONUS: Diapers & Wipes on changing table- “Before you leave the px area, run to the px bathroom and leave diapers and wipes on the changing table with sign… “You need to finish this in 2 minutes…” (NEED Diapers, wipes and sign)
3.    Candy canes and signs on cars-Run around to the cars in the parking lot and leave notes with mini candy canes on the cars. NEED mini candy canes and signs. “You need to finish this in 5 minutes.”
4.    Caroling-Run to apartments near the px and carol two Christmas songs and give them a plate of treats… “You need to finish this in 10 minutes…”
EXTRA NEEDS:  Need gift bags for each group with their clues and supplies in it.
Hot chocolate afterwards then cut papers and put in jar…NEED supplies for hot chocolate and papers and jar. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Good Works #3- Operation Christmas Kindness- Random Acts of Service

Month: December
Value of the Month: Good Works
Color: Yellow
Value Experience: #3 
"Read Mosiah 18:7–10, and in your journal list three ways you can comfort others 
or help them bear their burdens. Do the things on your list, and 
tell a family member or leader about the experience and 
how your attitude and understanding have changed."

Lemon Pudding Packs (we're going easy this month)
Spray Whipped Cream
Yellow Fruit to Decorate (bananas, pears, apples, bell peppers, squash, lemons)

We started the night off with the normal picture taking and mingling.  Then as we sat down, I had the girls pull out their scriptures and read Mosiah 18:7-10"

 7 And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma. Yea, all were gathered together that believed on his word, to hear him. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord.

 8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

 10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

We went on to discuss these scriptures in detail.  What does it mean to mourn with those that mourn?  To comfort those who stand in need of comfort?  Who are some of these people?  (They answered: "our friends, our parents, our siblings...")  

Why is it important to uplift others?  Who are people we can help and uplift?  (they gave lots of really good answers.  Family, friends, community.)  What are some things we can do in our community to help (lots of good answers of service).  I then told them how much of a difference they can make in people's lives. 

Object Lesson:  I took some lotion and put some in my hand. Then I asked one of the girls to come up. I put some lotion in her hand but some was still left on mine. I said to the girls, "Just like I gave her some lotion, there was still some left on me.  When you give of yourself, you're not only giving to others, you are being uplifted too."

I then showed this video about some youth who started a club.  It was really amazing for our girls to see.

I then introduced to them the concept of "Random Acts of Kindness." (From Wikipedia: "A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people.")  We talked about what some random acts of kindness might be.  It could be anything from giving hot chocolate to someone who works in the cold, or leaving diapers on a changing station, or leaving a big thank you note for the trash collectors, leave cookies in your mailbox for the mailman, pay for the car's order behind you in a drive through, hand out food to homeless people, leave change on a washing machine at a laundromat, rake someone's leaves, write a note on someone's driveway.)

Then I said, "This is your mission, should you choose to accept it..." And then I handed out all the envelopes you see in the picture above.  Each envelope had the little label with the "operation" I coined. It's called Operation Christmas Kindness.  Each envelope then had their name on it. They were all excited to open the envelope.  Inside were the two papers you see below. It was a list I put together of all the different things they could do for their "three acts".  

They were to choose 3 of these acts or write in their own and then cut off the strip and put them in the empty jar.  But one catch! They had to take pictures of themselves or the actual act of kindness.  Then after they did their three things, they would get their yellow jar.  At the bottom of the list were even notes they could cut out and leave for people explaining what we were doing.  They seemed super excited about it.

I also told them I wanted to "step it up" a bit. I told them if they each did 5 things we would have a pool party at the bishop's house. They were cheering and so excited.  

 The bishop then asked if he could say a few words.  Do you see he's wearing a yellow tie? He has been doing this every Personal Progress Night.  It's pretty awesome.

Afterward I gave them each an easy thing to start with.  They each got 5 candy canes and 5 slips of paper. They took a few minutes to attach the slips onto the candy cane and then they were to hand them out to random people and say thank you or smile.  And of course they had to document by taking a picture of themselves doing it.

Then we had pudding!  They had a great time with the whipped cream and it was just a really fun night!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Paint Your World in Personal Progress-Young Women in Excellence 2013

For our Young Women in Excellence this year, we had a theme of "Paint Your World in Personal Progress."  Our Young Women's President, along with our Activity Specialist, found this blog which most of our night was inspired by. However, in true "us" form, we were inspired to do a bunch of other things too. :) Lots of different details...

(A side note: I didn't create these invites.  Our YW President did and I haven't been able to get a hold of a copy. Good luck. I think she just found a template online.)

The blog we found was inspired for this theme by the talk from Elder David A. Bednar.  Our YW President gave a wonderful talk about this, explaining how we as individuals in Young Women are our own brush strokes but put them all together and they make a wonderful, colorful canvas.  Then we made our own Young Women canvas (more on this below).

"In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting."

The invitation envelope was made with white crayon and then a brush stroke of paint over the top.
 Prep Time!

Painting the painting brushes. Heehee.

Only a few days before my parents from California, as well as my sister and her husband from Idaho came into town.  While I had rescheduled everything in life while they were there, this was something I couldn't. So they came to help!  Parties are their specialty. (I'm actually not kidding... go to this link to see their catering events business.)  I got a kick out of my dad using tiny glue dots to make mor epaint chip straws. He did a bunch of other bigger things like tables and chairs but would any of my family be surprised that after he did these crafty jobs he had to find an errand to run, even in a foreign country... running to McDonald's! :) Hey I wasn't complaining.  The McDonald's over here are game-changers.

Streamer wall was serious business.

Gotta love my dad!

My mom is seriously talented with decorating.

And the only picture I got of the girls setting up their displays (more pictures below).

Front Display

Our front display with a white background for our slideshow.

Soup cans covered in paint chips with the color of each value.  We use this for our program later.  Fun paint chip garland too.

I'm totally loving the paint splattered table covers.  The artwork can be found here.
Treat Table
As you can tell we based a lot of our decorations around all the paint chips we collected.  Being in Germany I'm sure you can imagine the difficulty in finding the right paint chips.  All the hardware stores had the long thin paint chips, which we utilized all over, but for the square ones we asked a guest coming  over from the states to bring a big stack.  We could only imagine what the airport people thought when seeing a big stack of paint chips going through the screening belt.

We also used the same idea of making/hanging paper pinwheels we used at New Beginnings earlier in the year.  This is a great how to on making pinwheels. SUPER easy!

I think the paintbrush rice krispy treats were my favorite thing of the whole night!
The paint pallet cookies were a take home gift for the girls

We tried to get cupcakes in all the colors of the Young Women Values.
Food Table

More pinwheels! :)
 Our Menu:
-Baked Potato Bar-
(we provided the potatoes, each girl brought toppings to contribute)
-Veggie Cups (see below)-
-Rainbow Fruit Skewers-
(strawberry, mandarin orange, pineapple, kiwi, blueberry, purple grape)
-Decorated Water Bottles-

Veggie cups were a hit!  Added a ton of color too.

I didn't get a picture when all the food had been set out. Can you see the fruit skewers?
Guest Tables
There's not much I can say about these tables that isn't sort of self-explanatory.  We sort of all just brought our home paint supplies and added them to the centerpiece (description below).   

The paint splattered tablecloths were the original plan but it was so wet outside the paint on the other paper didn't dry for two days.  So we improvised and made stripes of streamers down the center of some of the other tables.

We made these centerpieces with an empty paint can covered in paper.  We attached paint chips to tall straws and secured them inside the paint can with sand.  Then just added paint supplies and paint brushes I had bought and painted the handles. If you look closely inside the paint can you can see some tall paintbrushes that added a bit of depth.

Probably another of my favorite details of the night were the silverware holders made with a paint chip on front and a white piece of paper (a little taller on the back) sewed together. Each girl received a mini canvas with the temple outline on it because our theme was "Stand in Holy Places."
Just little details from around the room we brought from home or used extra supplies we had.

How cool is it this paint-by-number painting one of the girls (my Xanthe) painted.

These were some other paint chips we had found and didn't have a use for. So we sewed them together and used them over the girls' displays.
Young Women Displays
Each girl was asked to bring things they had worked on throughout the year with Personal Progress. They wrote little cards they could describe the items.  Then they each received a card relating to the theme with their name on it (can you see it next to the temple picture below?) where they described one of these values and then used this card to speak about it later on.
This is my daughter, Xanthe's display.
This is my other daughter, Xoe's display.  Yes, they're twins.  And yes, the coloring is different.  I got this picture from the YW President.
And overview of one of the corners of displays.  Take note of the cute chalkboard clothespins.  Found at a local store.  I have a more detailed picture below.
These are the girls' tracker cards.  The person we ordered the framed value artwork from (above) sent them to us free!  So nice!  

I didn't post all the pictures I had of the guests. Those went up on our group Facebook page. I only posted those from my close family so those back in the states could see them. :)

Uncle James and Aunt Heather Georgianna visiting from Idaho.

My twins Xoe and Xanthe and their friend Mailee.
Program Cover

Inside Cover

(A side note: I didn't create these programs.  Our YW President did and I haven't been able to get a hold of a copy. Good luck. I think she just found a template online.)

Yes, that's me.  I don't usually post pictures of me but I thought it'd be fun to post this candid for my sisters.  I guess I'm known to feel comfortable talking in front of people so I "got" to conduct. Haha. At least I didn't have to prepare the talk, which I was MORE than happy to let Melanie do. Heehee.

We don't have anyone who plays piano.  So my mom jumped in! :) I love how involved my parents were.  And of course my dad was pretty much the caterer that night.  I didn't do any refills or prep back in the kitchen.  I pretty much just got to sit back and relax.  Everyone should have their events catered! It's kinda nice! :) Thanks mom and dad.

Melanie, Young Women's President, giving her talk I described above.
 At this point in the program, each girl was given a value to describe... i.e, what color it was represented by, the scripture and value description, and how it has been important in their life.  Then they took the paintbrush in their color and created some brushstrokes on a canvas to make our Young Women's painting that is now hanging in our YW room.
My daughter, Xanthe, describing Integrity, Purple.

Again I didn't post pictures of the other girls, but you can see all those that came before who created brushstrokes.

My Xoe describing Virtue, Gold.

Didn't this turn out amazing?!  Their own each individual brush strokes created a beautiful painting.

And here are our Young Women! I'll try to go in order from left to right... Lisa, Ashlenne, Aubrey, Sara, Tatiana, Xoe, Xanthe & Mailee.  We were missing 3 girls.

And add the crazy Young Women Presidency and advisors.

And it wouldn't be true Wiesbaden Military Ward form without a crazy picture too!