•June 25, 2013 • 4 Comments


pre-confession:  i wrote this post – like – 2 months ago….

i confess. i have been pouting. ever since the “look” i got from paul (see previous post) i haven’t wanted to write a new post because that post needed (NEEDED!!!) to take it’s place as leader of the posts until i was done – you know – hitting him in the arm – hard.

2nd confession. i played hooky with our 3 youngest boys today. like, for real. we went fishing. urban fishing. mom fishing. i spent most of the time pulling hooks out of trees and saying “boys! talk nice!” and “boys! you want mommy to LIKE fishing don’t you??”.  i ate a pizza lunchable right along with them. now that’s devotion.

3rd confession. after popping in an “all boys lunch” into the oven to honor our all boys day  – chicken nuggets, hot wings, and super pretzels – i thought maybe the grout in between the tile in our kitchen could use some bleach and a toothbrush so i gave it a go. in between “boys! get your feet off the walls!” and “boys! you want mommy to LIKE you don’t you??” i scrubbed my heart out for about 3 minutes before realizing 2 things:

1. this grout is not actually supposed to be black.

2.  i hate scrubbing grout. i will never do it again. voluntarily.

then i threw away the last of the pretzels and jello only to hear a call from the bathroom “mom!!! i not done eating yet…” which leads me to my final confession…..what the 5 year old doesn’t know about his pretzel and jello won’t hurt him.


The Look

•September 20, 2012 • 3 Comments

Photo Credit

Have you ever seen “the look”?  There are thousands of different looks but this one says “HOLY COW!  NO WAY!  YOU MUST BE CRAZY / AMAZING / SEMI-PSYCHOTIC!”

I  gave “the look” to my friend when she announced her sky diving intentions last week. (They went by the way – and had a fabulous time.)  My husband gave me the “astonished” look on Sunday while sitting in church.  Except the look wasn’t for me.

“The look” almost landed him on the street corner holding a sign saying, “Will Sue for Food.”

I had our first baby in 1995.  Another in 97, 98, and 2000.  Tell me, how old would baby number one have been when baby number four was born?  1995 – 2000.  Five.  Five years old.  Yeah.

So I am sitting there in church yesterday and this wonderful woman stands up and introduces herself and her family. She said at one point she sort of “checked out” of life for a while.  The reason?  She had had four kids in five years.

And then Paul gave me the look. Because the woman talking had done this amazing thing.

And I almost stood up in my little pew and yelled “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?”

What I did do was shove my elbow into his side while hissing something along the lines of “I HAD FOUR KIDS IN FIVE YEARS TOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!”

Seriously.  I have never gotten “the look” from Paul until yesterday and “the look” was in someone else’s behalf.  He spent the rest of the day apologizing. And laughing. And giving me his best “WOW YOU ARE CRAZY / AMAZING / SEMI-PSYCHOTIC look”.

What’s a girl to do for a little credit around here?

YW Manual 1 Lesson 31

•August 7, 2012 • 2 Comments

Handout is a postcard I ordered from Costco. I used a cool handout from HERE and added funny “pick up lines” on back just for laughs.

YW Manual 1 Lesson 31


Start building a fire.  (Bring a small box of firewood and paper and an empty can of lighter fluid and an empty box of matches.)

I just want to create a cozy atmosphere and have a “fireside” type feel for my lesson today!  The girls will express concern.  I will concede and decide not to build the fire. (Will talk about the “fire” lesson in the Physical Relationship section later in the lesson.)

Read this introductory quote from manual:

“Mia Maid girls and Teachers … have many activities of a social nature planned for them, both in their school and Church programs, which they should enjoy in groups. They should avoid boy-girl single-dating relationships” (“Policies and Procedures,” New Era, Jan. 1971, p. 30).

Tell girls we are going to talk about 3 different kinds of ships today. (Taken from “Make Dating Smooth Sailing” by Susan W. Tanner)



(Print out and display all the ship pictures.)


How important is friendship to you?  Friendship is necessary to our well being – not just nice – but necessary. We hunger for it. It is a need.

This was brought home to me by one of my Young Women general board members who took some personal trips this past summer. In her travels, she visited with young women in Idaho, Brazil, Mongolia, and Russia. In each place, she asked them questions about their lives and compiled their answers. Here are the questions she asked, along with the most frequent response she received to each question.

Question: What makes you happy? Answer: Friends.

What are your greatest worries? Friends.

What do you like to do in your free time? Be with friends.

What do you spend most of your time thinking about? Friends.

Why don’t young women come to Mutual? No friends.

Why do young women become less active? Pressure of friends.

We can look to Jesus Christ for the greatest example of friendship. “Friend” was the highest compliment He could pay His disciples.

Read John 15: 12-15

To be such a friend is Christlike; to have such friends is heavenly.

Describe to me a true friend.

Does this description match the friendships (or relationships) you currently have with the opposite sex?

Should those descriptions match up?  Discuss.

Our next ship:


With friendship being the foundation of courtship – how important then is THIS time in your life? What should you be spending your time and energy on NOW? Is now the time for courtship? What is courtship?  Discuss these ideas and principles with girls.

Read this story about S. Tanner’s daughter:

“A little story will help to illustrate [the importance of friendship within courtship and marriage].

It is the story of Isaac and Rebecca. This is not the biblical account, however. It is about our daughter Rebecca and her suitor Isaac. Our Rebecca was not persuaded to marry her Isaac nearly as easily as was the Old Testament Rebekah. Nor was she readily willing to give up her lifestyle and immediately leave her family to be part of another’s life.

Our Becky was 21. She had signed up to do a summer internship through Brigham Young University in Mozambique, Africa. She wasn’t sure if she should serve a mission, but she had at least started the paperwork by getting dental and doctor appointments. She was also thinking about applying for a master’s program in her field. In short, she was trying to decide what to do with the next phase of her life. We all wondered which would win out of the three Ms—Mozambique, mission, or master’s.

Meanwhile, Isaac came along in pursuit and soon offered a choice of a fourth M—marriage. He was headed for medical school in a few months, and he did not want to go without Becky. He later told us that he had his own three Ms that he hoped she would choose—marriage, medical school, and eventually motherhood. “If she did not,” he said, “I knew I would be the fourth M—miserable.”

Becky was a woman of the 21st century. The world and its many glamorous opportunities were available to her, and it was hard for her to set aside some of her dreams. What finally won her over were Isaac’s intrinsic goodness and his kindness to her. He did the romantic things too, like sending beautiful bouquets of flowers, taking her on nice dates, and so on.

But those things would not have won her over on their own. What was most winning to her was how he continually put her feelings and her needs above his own. He did little thoughtful things, the kind that one friend would do for another. For example, when he learned that her watch was too big for her wrist, he removed a couple of links from it and made it perfect for her. Another time she found her car spotless and sparkling inside and out because he had washed it, a deed unsolicited by her. Another time she found a little list he had made of ways to improve himself; many of his goals were service oriented. These kindnesses promised an enduring friendship; they expressed qualities of character that would last even when physical beauties eventually faded.

Becky realized that he had the qualities that would endure through good and bad times, the very qualities she would seek out in a good friend. So she did marry Isaac. And now she reflects that she was right about his great strengths being a wonderful asset to their relationship. She feels she is married to her best friend. And this is what marriage should be.”


I have two pictures for this last ship.


Physical Relationship Before Marriage

Physical Relationship After Marriage

(I ordered this picture in color from Costco.)

If the physical part of a relationship comes too early it can take over. It can become the tail that wags the dog.

Back to the wood sitting in the middle of the room……

Liken the building of a fire in the wrong place at the wrong time to physical intimacy between young people before marriage. Discuss this concept.

Go over these 4 catchy phrases with girls:

1. Avoid the dangers of the dark. Stay in well-lit places—literally and figuratively. There’s wisdom to leaving the lights on—on the porch, in the living room, at the dance. And there’s safety in shunning places that feel dark in spirit.

2. Beware the hazard of the horizontal. Don’t lie down together with a date. Just don’t do it—not to watch a movie or to read a book or to rest at a picnic.

3. Remember the perils of privacy. Find public places to be alone. Learn to have your intimate talks where others are. There is great safety in being together where you can easily be interrupted.

4. Modesty is a must. Everything about your appearance, your speech, and your demeanor should bespeak that you are a literal spirit son or daughter of Heavenly Father. If we truly understand the significance of our bodies in our Father’s plan, we will show great honor for our bodies. When you dress and act modestly, others will treat you with respect.

Finally, show THIS VIDEO to girls and discuss the idea of NOT being a stumbling block to ourselves or these boys!  This video is just as applicable to the young women of the church as it is to the young men!

Bear testimony of these principle we have discussed today.

YW Manual 1 Lesson 29

•July 21, 2012 • 2 Comments

Handout is just a 4X6 print from HERE.  I added velum with their names and the main scripture from lesson on top and taped the 4X6 onto card stock I had on hand.  I clipped it all together with a cute paper clip from Hobby Lobby!

YW Manual 1 Lesson 29

 Put signs on girls.

Signs just have the words from the manual and the quotes on the back.  Each girls will wear one throughout the lesson and read from the back toward the end.


“My dear friends, you are a royal generation. You were preserved to come to the earth in this time for a special purpose. Not just a few of you, but all of you. There are things for each of you to do that no one else can do as well as you. … If you will let Him, I testify that our Father in Heaven will walk with you through the journey of life and inspire you to know your special purpose here” (H. Burke Peterson, “Your Life Has a Purpose,” New Era, May 1979, p. 5).

Share my feelings on this statement from manual:

Point out that those who are righteous look forward with great joy to the second coming of the Lord. It is a blessing to be among those who may help prepare the earth for his coming.

Read Isaiah 13: 6-11, 13-16, 18

WHO is punished?  Re-read 9-11

He will punish:








We are all subject to these – what is going to happen to us?

Read Alma 41: 3, 5-6

Yes.  We will make mistakes.  Yes we will sin.  But what is our DESIRE?

So are we really among those who will be punished?  Do we need to fear?

No!  We have cause to rejoice!  Our desires are good!  And what of our mistakes?

In addition to our DESIRES we all get a chance for redemption!  We can REPENT at any time.  Read Laborers in the Vineyard selections. (conference talk from this last conference…a favorite!….i think of how this principle applies daily!)

Give girls their handouts.  Have them read together the main quote under their names.

So WHO are YOU?

Have each girl stand up and read the back of her sign.

Bear testimony of the principle of righteous desires, repentance, and a testimony of our true identity. Read 3 Nephi 25:2 (i feel a new and wonderful understanding of the 2nd Coming!)

Have girls read the scripture on front of her handout all together out loud:

8 Wherefore, astand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh bquickly, saith the Lord. Amen.

YW Manual 1 Lesson 27

•July 13, 2012 • 1 Comment

Handout is bookmarks that say down is up (meaning – when we are looking down into the scriptures we are really looking up toward God!).  Down is up is an idea I got from “Falling to Heaven” by James L. Ferrell.  The best book EVER.  I also printed out the spiritual directory assistance found here:

Lesson 27 – Scripture Study

Toilet paper dictation.  (give each girl a square of toilet paper and pen. have girls write as i read. act like we are going to write out the scriptures – tell them when they run out of room i can give them another square of TP.) This is an object lesson showing how much effort and time it took for people to write out and copy the scriptures.

Many sacrifices have been made so we could have the scriptures.

In addition to the time and effort required to translate or copy the scriptures, what other efforts or sacrifices have been made so we might have the scriptures?

Answers may include:

  1. .                1. The efforts of Nephi and his brothers to obtain the brass plates (1 Nephi 3–4).
  2. .                2. Mormon’s labor to abridge the large plates of Nephi and create the plates of Mormon from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon (Words of Mormon 1:1–5 and Mormon 1:1–5; 5:8–9; 6:6).
  3. .                3. Moroni’s lonely struggle to complete and bury the gold plates (Mormon 8:1–5; Moroni 1:1–4).
  4. .                4. Joseph Smith’s suffering, persecution, and martyrdom because he translated the Book of Mormon and helped reestablish the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth (Joseph Smith—History 1:30–67; D&C 135:1–3).

Why would so many people sacrifice so much just to write and keep safe these words? (Discuss)

I made a “cookbook” without recipes – only pictures of the food. (I used these Ikea cookbook pictures that are SO CUTE: Show girls the “cookbook” and let them try and match the ingredient picture with the end result picture.  They will put the 4X6 pictures (printed out at Costco for 2 bucks) in order into a cheap little 4X6 photo album from the dollar store.  Harder to cook from a cookbook that does not have instructions.

As important as it is to have instructions in the kitchen – it is MORE important to have instructions in our LIVES. Which we do!  The scriptures!  😉


“I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep.

“As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists. My joy was now full, as it were, and I rejoiced sufficiently to more than pay me for all the sorrows, sacrifices and toils of my life” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938], p. 37).

Show my first Book of Mormon and share my experience with it.  (Very similar to quote above.)

Give the girls their “Spiritual Directory of Assistance”.  Share experience with this list.  Turn time over to girls I asked already for sharing of experiences with scriptures.  Talk about scripture journals and share ideas.  Share ideas on HOW the girls study the scriptures, etc.

Here is one young women’s experience from manual to share if time allows:

“I learned to a small degree how all the holy men of God learn to know God and the gospel. It is not a gift to a select few, rather a blessing predicated on the law of obedience, long hours, and study.”

“I learned some of the basics of pondering and searching:

“1. Pray always before you begin to read the scriptures. Slow your mind down and be free from this world. Also, pray all the while you read—as certain concepts of the gospel illuminate your soul or as you have questions. Don’t hesitate to call upon your Father.

“2. Keep a paper and pencil handy while you read. This is a stimulating activity, and often goals, exciting ideas, or original thoughts will creep into a stale mind.  (scripture journals)J

“3. Go slowly! This study is not a race. No longer do you have to finish a prescribed number of chapters before you go to bed. Spend several days with a single chapter or verse. Memorize scripture and it will bloom with hidden meanings you hadn’t been cognizant of, meanings pertinent to your life today.

“4. Ask questions as you read the scriptures. … Question and then call upon the Lord. As I questioned, the doors of my heart unfolded and left room for the Holy Ghost to dwell in me.

“5. Stop many times during the day and ponder the single thought that you have searched out in depth. For instance, consider the truth ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ Repeat the scripture, question your every action, and keep the thought with you on a small card.

Bear testimony of scripture study.

YW Manual 1 Lesson 26

•July 7, 2012 • 2 Comments

“Just Try It” bags with 2 sample containers inside and a quote. One has pomegranate seeds and the other has paper flowers. The girls will get a chance to try the seeds (which goes along with the testimony is like a plant stuff) and they can write what they can try that will help them gain or strengthen their testimonies on the paper flowers. The quote is in the lesson.


Break out the pomegranate seeds and start eating them.  Ask girls if anyone there hadn’t tried them before.  Tell the girls that haven’t tried them that they really should!

(Eat the seeds throughout the lesson – making a big deal out of how good they are!)

Let’s read Alma 32:28

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

How is a testimony like a plant? (Discuss)

We are most interested in the kind of plant (or testimony) that can “enlarge the soul”. (Draw large flower on board representing the kind of testimony that will “enlarge the soul” as stated in the above scripture). Write these 3 points on flower petals):

a. Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world.

b. Joseph Smith is the prophet through whom God restored the gospel.

c. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true Church and is led by a prophet today.

How do we gain a testimony?  How do we get THAT plant (the one on the board) to grow??

Make the following scripture chain (highlighting underlined words in each scripture):

Desire to believe (Alma 32:27).

Study the scriptures and the words of the modern prophets (D&C 11:22).

Pray with real intent (Moroni 10:4).

Live gospel principles (John 7:17).

Fast and pray (Alma 5:46).

45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I aknow of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?

46 Behold, I say unto you they are made aknown unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have bfasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of crevelation which is in me.

 JUST TRY IT.  Try the gospel.  Try prayer.  Try fasting. Try it.  TRY IT.  Sing the Wise Man and the Foolish Man. What is the ONLY difference between these two guys?

24 Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a arock

 25 And the arain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it bfell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a afoolish man, who built his house upon the bsand

 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

One was a doer of the word and one was not.

Quote (that is inside their handout bags):

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

 –Theodore Roosevelt (1910)

We have a nice flower growing here – a young plant – what to do with it?  Talk about Joyce’s plant.  (She had gotten these flowers about 2 months ago and had taken good care of it only to leave the flower in my care for just 1 week while at girls camp.

(object – show how even when you have a thriving plant that has been nourished and taken care of and the plant is thriving the plant cannot be left for a week – it will die – plant still needs care.

Can be given a boost (extra plant food…)  just as our testimonies can be strengthened by BEARING and SHARING them!

“My testimony had grown; I could feel it. It was like watching a flower grow in fast motion on a science film.” (Possibly show a flower growing in fast motion video clip if time allows.)

*Bear testimony of Jesus, of Joseph Smith, and of being a member of Christ’s church with a living prophet.

*Allow time for missionaries to bear testimony. (The missionaries happened by yesterday and I asked them to show up in my class for the last 5 minutes.  I think having the girls listen to these missionaries bear their testimony of Jesus will be fabulous.)

YW Manual 1 Lesson 24

•June 18, 2012 • 2 Comments

Handout Credit

I am going to order prints of this “invitation” from Costco and give 2 of them to each girl at mutual on Tuesday night.  One invite for them and one for a friend!  Missionary opportunity.  Fun! This lesson will have a “party” theme because of the invitations.  I will have party hats and cupcakes there and will remind girls both at beginning and end that we have all been invited to pray!  Fun!  😉

Lesson Outline:

Put on party hats and welcome the girls to the “party”.  Did anyone figure out what kind of party they were invited to by looking up the scriptures on the invitation during the week?

Go around room and ask each girl to share something in her life that would be helpful to pray about together.  Can be something that is worrying her or something she is grateful for or a challenge she has encountered etc.  Kneel and pray together for each girl.

Work through the scriptures on the invitations.

Who is invited to pray?  D&C 104:79

Why do we pray? D&C 19:28, 1 Thes 5:18, James 1:5, Alma 34:27

How do we pray? 3 Nephi 19:6, 1 Timothy 4:15

Where do we pray? Matthew 6:6, Alma 34:26

When do we pray? Alma 34:21, 1 Thes 5:17

Discuss this quote by Bishop H. Burke Peterson:

“As you feel the need to confide in the Lord or to improve the quality of your visits with him—to pray, if you please—may I suggest a process to follow: go where you can be alone, go where you can think, go where you can kneel, go where you can speak out loud to him. The bedroom, the bathroom, or the closet will do. Now, picture him in your mind’s eye. Think to whom you are speaking, control your thoughts—don’t let them wander, address him as your Father and your friend. Now tell him things you really feel to tell him—not trite phrases that have little meaning, but have a sincere, heartfelt conversation with him. Confide in him, ask him for forgiveness, plead with him, enjoy him, thank him, express your love to him, and then listen for his answers. … Answers from the Lord come quietly—ever so quietly. In fact, few hear his answers audibly with their ears. We must be listening so carefully or we will never recognize them. Most answers from the Lord are felt in our heart as a warm comfortable expression, or they may come as thoughts to our mind. They come to those who are prepared and who are patient” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1973, p. 13; or Ensign, Jan. 1974, p. 19).

There is a promise on our invitations.  Read Alma 37:37.

There is an RSVP at bottom of their invitations to pray.  We can decide how we will respond to God’s invitation to pray every day!

Display this picture and (hopefully) have small ones to give to the girls to take home:

Read verses 2 and 3 of  “Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire” hymn #145.
Go around the room and discuss who we could pray for (friends, family, other YW that are not here today).  Kneel and pray specifically for these individuals.
Eat cupcakes!  🙂 (or yogurt (or chocolate) dipped pretzels since they look like arms folded in prayer). Or all of the above treats since I am sucker for that kind of thing….