Paper Flowers

How adorable are these paper flowers by Dozi Design?  I am in love!  You can find the full tutorial found here.  Wouldn't a bouquet of these flowers make for a cute table decoration for Young Womens?
Paper flower tutorial: step 1
Paper flower tutorial: step 2
Paper flower tutorial: step 3
Paper flower tutorial: step 4
Paper flower tutorial: done!

The Beauty I See In Them

Tonight we had a night celebrating "The Beauty In You!"  The Young Women were instructed on fashion, make-up, and hair.  They were also reminded that being beautiful is more than just putting on a pretty face.
The night started out with the following excerpt from President David O. McKay's book "Secret of a Happy Life".  I absolutely love this story!  I have used on more than one occasion to emphasize the importance of looking for the good in others, in yourself, and the world which surrounds each of us.
The Beauty I See In Them
In the ancient days of Japan there was a scholar who went out of the gates in the morning to study nature.  At night he returned and gave a lecture to the workmen who gathered around him to hear his wise counsel.
One day as he started out from the city a man approached him and asked, "Will you please bring me tonight a rose that I may see the object of the lesson which you mentioned last evening?"
"Yes, I will bring you a rose."
*A second man accosted him and said, "Will you bring me a twig such as you used to illustrate your lecture of yesterday?"  "Yes, I will bring you a twig."
And a third, "Will you bring me a lily that I may study the lesson of purity you gave?"  And he promised to bring the lily.
At sundown, after work, the three laborers were at the gate to meet the educator, the philosopher.  To the first he gave the rose, to the second the twig, and to the third the lily.*
Suddenly the one with the rose exclaimed, "Why, there is a thorn clinging to the stem of my rose."
The second man said, "And here is a dead leaf on my twig." 
"And here is dirt clinging to the roots of my lily."
"Let me see,"  said the philosopher.  And he took from the first the rose, from the second the twig, and from the third lily.
From the rose he plucked the thorn and handed it to the first.  He took the dead leaf from the twig and gave it to the second, and to the third man he handed the dirt from the roots of the lily.
"There," he said, "each of you has what attracted you first.  You looked for the thorn and found it.  I left it there.  I also left the dead leaf and you saw it that first.  You now have it.  And you saw the dirt clinging to the roots of your lily, and I have placed that in your hands.  I shall keep the rose, the twig, and the lily for the beauty I see in them."
Personal Progress Value Experience (Individual Worth #3):
After sharing this story, read Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 and 121:45.  Then invite the Young Women to do all they can to build others and make them feel of worth.  Discuss how their own personal confidence will grow as they help build others.
"That's what makes you Beautiful" by Cherie Call  - listen to a sound clip here
Quotes and Talks (that could be used in discussion):
  • “There is no more beautiful sight than a young woman who glows with the light of the Spirit, who is confident and courageous because she is virtuous.” - Sister Elaine S. Dalton
  • “I tell young women that they should do all in their power to make themselves attractive physically in dress and grooming, mentally in being knowledgeable on many subjects, spiritually in being responsive, emotionally in being genuine and worthy” - President Spencer W. Kimball*
  • "True Beauty", Elder Robbins, New Era Nov 2008
  • "Beauty Tips", Sheralee Bills, New Era Sept 2001
Fashion, Make-Up and Hair Tips
When we were planning this activity the girls requested to have Emily, our former Personal Progress leader, be our guest instructor.  She is young mother, adorable, and the girls admire her.  She did such a wonderful job!
She started out by showing the girls examples of a weeks worth of outfits using 10 key items of clothing and accessories.  She talked about investing in classic items such as a nice pair of jeans, cardigan sweaters, and shoes.  She compared the value of these items verses fashion fads, making sure the girls understood that even though those fads are fun, they shouldn't spend  a lot of money on them.
Next, instruction was given on how to apply make-up.  This is what had the girl's attention the most.  I was so impressed in how Emily did this.  Everything she taught was simple, affordable, and showed the girls how to bring out the natural beauty in themselves.
To finish things off, Emily showed the girls a few different hair tips and tricks.  It was a fun night for all.  Thanks again Emily!
To go along with our Japanese inspired theme, the Young Women were each given a red (individual worth) flowered take out box (Target dollar aisle find) filled with fortune cookies (recipe below - it was my first time making these, don't laugh).  Inside each cookie was a slip of paper, reminding them of the beauty we see in them.  Here are a few ideas to get you going:
  • “There is no more beautiful sight than a young woman who glows with the light of the Spirit, who is confident and courageous because she is virtuous.”
  • “I shall keep the rose, the twig, and the lily for the beauty I see in them."
  • “You are only as beautiful as your attitude.”
  • “You are beautiful!”
  • “Remember, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”
  • “You are of infinite worth with your own divine mission. Strive to fulfill it”
Homemade Fortune Cookies
3 egg whites
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons water

1.Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Grease cookie sheets really well, or line with parchment paper. Have fortunes ready to go on small strips of paper.

2.In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and stir in melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, water and flour one at a time, mixing well after each. Consistency should resemble pancake batter. Spoon the batter  into 3 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets. (I used a medium sized cookie scoop, then spread into circle with the back of a spoon) Leave room between for spreading.
3.Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Quickly remove one at a time, place a message in the center, and fold in half. Fold the ends of the half together into a horse shoe shape.  Place them in a muffin tin to cool until set.
Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

Snow Trip - Warm Up

Simple, yet effective.  I filled cups with Stephen's Hot Chocolate and a few marshmallows.  I dropped off one of these to each of my Young Women a couple days before our Snow Trip with a handwritten note:  "Something to warm you up for the snow trip.  Fill with hot milk or water.  See you Saturday at 8:30 am."  Nothin' wrong with a little reminder is there?

Snow Trip

If there is anything lovey,... we seek after these things.  I don't know if you'll agree with me, but SNOW is lovely.
Jack Frost doesn't deliver snow to our front lawns here in California's Central Valley. But luckily, one of the great things about living here is having so many wonderful places to visit from the coast to the mountain tops.
The Young Men and Young Women spent time in the snow today.  This is only a guess here, but I think we were about 30 miles from home when we spotted our first sign of snow. 
The Priests were in charge of planning the activity.  They did such a good job!  Plenty of tubes, saucers, and sleds.  Hot chocolate.  They even brought a BBQ.  They served hamburgers, polish dogs, and chicken.  It was topped off with bowls of hot chili, oranges, chips, and chocolate chip cookies.  These Young Men went all out!
Brie brought her guitar and her friend Conner had his ukulele.  Love it!  I seriously felt at home.  Made me miss our boys jammin' in the backyard.