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!