Sunday, November 10, 2013

American Girl Party

Sophia turned NINE this past Saturday, nine years old on the Ninth. She is growing up into a smart, sweet, funny, loving, determined, lanky kid. I am so glad she’s in our family.

Over the past two years Sophia has devoured American Girl books, moving from the traditional stories to the mysteries. Once she and her sister realized that the dolls collecting dust in their closet (Grandma had given them years ago) were meant to be played with as a mini me to make projects for (rather than a baby doll to be cuddled), they have been creating mini books, beds, parties, etc for their dolls. So it was only natural we had an American Girl party and celebrated her love of all things miniature and historical (while she still thought it was cool).

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Sophia over the last few weeks with her doll, Caroline, her favorite American Girl. Sophia was Caroline for Halloween and she dressed her doll up as Inkpot, Caroline’s black cat in the books.

We made some invitations over fall break, gluing on metal star confetti (white elmers glue worked ok to keep them on)  and using stickers from a sticker pad from Michael’s.

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To decorate I pulled out all my pink and purple and silver pom poms, and my girly scrapbook banner (basically cut up a girly themed dcwv book and made a banner years ago, that works for any floral or girly type pastel colored party).I made a master star page, printed out on dark pink/ light pink/beige cardstock, then we cut all the stars out. I sewed the small stars into a garland, sewing right down the middle of the paper. We just punched holes in the large stars and hung with thread.

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At the party we had the girls arrive and make a mini dining set for their dolls- they decorated a construction paper place mat with more stickers, had a 1/4 of a normal napkin folded up, a mini paper plate, and painted the inside of a shot cup to look like liquicd, with a cut straw in it.  

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Next we used sculpey clay in red, pink, and various shades of brown and white to make play food  (pretzels, cupcakes, cookies, cake balls, candies, etc). The girls really started brainstorming once they did a few pieces, then they were out of clay. 5 packets of sculpey clay for 8 kids ended up being not enough. If I did a similar craft again I’d used salt dough or try out homemade sculpey/fimo to make tons of cheap dough and dye it so there'd be no size/quantity limit. We baked the sculpey for 15 mins at 275 degrees per instructions. Or you could cut things out of foam and glue/color, but I liked the sculpting aspect and how realistic it could look if done right.

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While the sculpey baked the girls made sleeping bags for their dolls. I cut out fleece in 24 by 30, folded in half to be 15 by 24, then put 3 or 4 inch slits on the open side and bottom. The girls tied the slips together. It was a great craft- easy to prep, easy to explain, only a few girls needed help. And then they had a sleeping bag for their girls.  You could also do pillows or simple doll clothes- scarf, poncho,or blankets

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Then we went outside for some games. The girls played Statues- the sculptor spun each girl around and they struck a pose, then she picked her favorite, who became the new sculptor. We played until everyone got a turn, the poses getting sillier with each round.

 

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Next we played missionary tag, where the girls are in pairs, and one chaser has to get another girl, who escapes by linking arms with a pair. The girl on the other side of the pair lets go and is the new person being chased.

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We also tried to walk with apples balanced on their heads and in between pairs foreheads.

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Next we came inside for hot chocolate with whipped cream (polar express hot chocolate from scratch in the crockpot, so yummy!) and cupcakes and gingerbread cookies. We made mini ones for our dolls, but they ate them up. I borrowed some china from a friend with a large set of white and gold plates, and I bought some white mugs at goodwill, which was only a few bucks more then buying disposable, and now we have tons of hot cocoa mugs I don’t mind if they break.

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We sang to Sophia and opened presents and then the party was done! (Can you tell she’s an introvert, looking glum because all the attention is on her as everyone sings!). The girls took home their mini place setting, a sheet of stickers, their play food, sleeping bag and mini hat for the doll.  We’re thankful for all her friends that could come and make it a special day!

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Hooray for smart, fun, amazing girls and their mini me dolls!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Girl’s Camp 2013- Build on the Foundation of Christ

Young Women Camp this year was amazing, but what else would it be? This was my first year leading as Camp Director. I have a strong testimony of the power of camp to give the girls great leadership and friendship experiences, and to be a anchor of spiritual experiences throughout the year.

Our theme was “ROCK SOLID: Built on the Foundation of Christ.” Our scripture theme was Helamen 5:12 from the Book of Mormon. And our weekly hymn was “How Firm a Foundation.” We sang it everyday, adding a verse or two.

Daily Themes: These dictated our devotionals, some activities, and some crafts emphasis

Rock Solid Daily Themes

Based on "The Abundant Life" by Joseph Wirthlin

Tuesday- Lay A Foundation: Obtain a relationship and testimony of Jesus Christ

Prayer, Scripture Study, Listening for answers, all help us learn about Christ and establish a relationship with Him. I presented a devotional about building our lives on Christ, the rock, versus trends or philosophies of the world (sand or ice). We talked about starting our relationship with Christ with what we know and building from there, and keeping a record of what we learn so we can look back at experiences with Christ make up our foundation of faith. This is the first day of camp, which included get to to know you games, rotating through crafts and certification times. The girls were asked after my devotional to think of one word or experience to describe what they know about the Savior. It was written on a sticker and added as a brick to our house.

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M&M questions for our get to know you game, Snow White and the Seven virtues skit, IMG_0228 (2)IMG_0498

Face board for photo ops after the skit, the finished house of faith- wood covered with girls honest answers, stuck on to make bricks.

Wednesday- Brick by Brick: Strength by Choosing the Right everyday

For the Strength of Youth, developing habits of Righteousness. The devotionals today centered on being stalwart and strong in doing what you already know is right, finding the courage to do it and follow through. The girls rotated through a service project and crafts. The evening activity was rotating through activities centered on the theme- the girls problem solved to build a tower, played a dodgeball variation, did trust falls, played twister and had girls trying to knock them over. After the stations the Youth Leaders in charge bore testimony of building their lives on the Savior. The girls were asked for their house of Faith sticker, to think of a time they’ve felt the Lord’s reassurance before or after choosing the right.

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Sister Daley droning on about something spiritual….Trust falls at the youth leader activity

Thursday- Furnish with Love: Serve and Support others

Developing Charity and love for others and serving everyday. The devotionals centered on how to receive God’s love and how to give God’s love. Thursday was a crazy day. Weather earlier in the week forced the girls to do their hiking and certification dinner on this day, as well as the 4th years going canoeing all day. We also had a slip and slide on a hill with lots of soap as our extra water activity. The bishops visited at night and we subjected them to be on a Girl’s Camp version of Whose LIne is it Anyways? They were great sports about it. Then the camp divides into their wards and their bishopric members give their night devotional. The girls and visitors were asked to think of a time they felt the Lord’s love and record it on their sticker to add to the House of Faith.

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Slip and Slide from plastic sheeting (From paint section- add dish or baby soap for extra slip). Our t-shirts, a word cloud of the daily themes and concepts we talked about all week

Friday- Weekly Maintenance: Christ's Atonement

On this, the last full day of camp, the devotionals centered on partaking of the atonement and every week partaking of the sacrament to be continually becoming more like the Savior. We did yearly pictures in the morning, with the girls in their camp t-shirts. The Young Women Presidency had an hour long workshop for each year, centering on how to bear your testimony with the acronym C.A.M.P.- Christ, Attitude, Minutes, Preparation. They have a song set to the YMCA tune with actions. Evening activity was a testimony meeting. It is so encouraging as a leader to hear the girls talk about times they’ve exercised faith and reached out to the Savior. On Friday they were to think of a time they’ve felt the cleansing power of the Atonement, to be better or repent and record it on their sticker. We also had a photo slideshow, put together by the Youth Leaders, with a darling picture of my recently decorated bed (they are evolving in their TPing, this year included nice notes on the TP!)

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CAMP and my bed covered in TP love

Saturday-Aspire Higher

Make your life a masterpiece (using Elder Wirthlin’s story about racehorse who started out a neglected horse at auction). I talked about all the various kinds of talents we can have (not just performance, but making someone feel included or planning a spiritual activity). I encouraged them to dream big and not let insecurities or fears hold them back from trying new things in every season of their lives. I asked them to write down something they are aspiring to be or talent to develop in the years ahead. We had closing activities where each year hands out silly awards for each girl. Love seeing all the friendship these girls have developed in one week of intense activities.

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My seniors- receiving their gift of dollar store items that help when they go to college (markers for marking your food, post it’s to leave notes for your roommates, etc)

 

Other things about our camp-

Our stake leaders (Director and Stake Young Women Presidency) all wore neon shirts all week, with the theme of the day on the front. It makes it easy to find one of us, and reinforces what we are talking about each day.

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The girls sleep by levels and are encouraged to have an identity that fits with the theme- this year we had the “Wise Girls” the “Lego Ladies” the “Diamonds in the Rough” and the “Gems” . They decorated their area with that theme in mind, name cards on their bed with that theme, had songs for roll call relating to their identity and usually some kind of useful thing for camp- hair bands or flashlights etc.

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Crafts were great this year, I was sad I didn’t get pictures of them all. We did crayon art with embossing guns, value marble magnets, simple fleece hats and scarves for service project, and pictures of the Savior on masonite with scrapbook paper around.

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The girls also rotated through serving and cleaning up in the kitchen, and this year we had mess kits they had to wash at each meal. Our kitchen setup ended up being perfect for having a hallway to do the washing. 

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This year we had our share of surprises (unregistered campers! imminent rain every forecast! Girls with special needs!) and a welcome share of hilarious conversations and successes. I was encouraged to see the 4th years make analogies and have positive attitudes about their canoeing accidents. I was so uplifted by leaders and girls asking me at every turn how they could help. And loved seeing leaders put their whole selves into camp and see smiles everywhere I turned. I know this program is inspired and can’t wait to start obsessing about next year and the fun we’ll have.

 

Hooray for Young Women’s Camp!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Natalie’s Tangled Party

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Natalie celebrated her 6th birthday on Saturday. We went with a tangled theme. Nothing I did was revolutionary, but I thought I’d blog about it, and if anybody in the area wants to borrow my d├ęcor or games you’re welcome to it.  I decorated with purple pom poms, yellow streamers, a sun flag banner and vellum lanterns ( vellum painted with the star, wrapped around mason or spaghetti jars).

We started off with drawing on the walls like Rapunzel in the movie. (Dollar store wrapping paper)

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We took some pics in the photo booth. I made a huge wig of blonde hair for the girls to pose with. Some loved it, some were scared of it. I’m still untangling it.

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We tossed some apple bean bags to Maximus, tangled each other up in streamers (Girls favorite game by far)

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We panned Flynn Rider with blindfolds on (oops no pics!), And danced with streamers to the Tangled songs.

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We made scores of lanterns from vellum and purple construction paper.

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The girls ate cinnamon roll and cheesy Italian bread braids. Natalie loved the donut tower.

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The girls went home with satchels, chameleon party blowers and some felt and silky flower clips. Plus their lanterns and dance streamers.

All in all, it was a great party, and I was proud of myself for doing it in less than 2 weeks. Hooray for Tangled!

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