Our beautiful housewife Lisa is also our ward Young Women's President. I am lucky enough to serve in the presidency with her and am amazed daily at how much she does for these girls. Every time I think I'm doing good I know I just have to look at her to see what I should be striving for. Her ability to know exactly what the girls need when they need it leaves me in awe.
We had our Young Women in Excellence evening this past week and once again she did an amazing job. A while back I found a picture that I wanted to print and put in my daughters room. When we were talking about theme ideas for the evening I showed it to the rest of the presidency and we decided it was an idea to submit to the girls. Thankfully after going over a few different ideas they settled on our theme being "This Little Light of Mine...I'm Gonna Let it Shine!" It was perfect and as the preparation went on things fell into place and there was no doubt this was the perfect theme for our girls.
I've got a whole bunch of pictures of the evening to share in case you're looking for ideas and want to see everything we did. Also, we have amazing girls who worked hard and I want to show off what they did.
This is the front of the room. Throughout the year we were able to get a wonderful variety of group pictures of the girls. Lisa framed them and used them as the center piece for the evening.
In this latest session of conference Ann M. Dibb gave the talk "I Know It. I Live It. I Love It." and relayed the story of a young girl she met who was wearing a shirt that read "I'm a Mormon. Are you?" She was impressed by the girls confidence and conviction and wished all our Young Women could feel that same way. She explained that as the next few days passed she kept thinking about the girl and her shirt and wondered what her shirt would say. She decided it would read "I'm a Mormon. I Know It. I Live It. I Love It." After listening to her talk Lisa started wondering what the shirts of our young women would say. She thought it would be a wonderful addition to the night and she was right. The girls who wanted to participate spent a week thinking about their shirt and what it would say and then the Laurels got together and made the shirts and turned them into a banner. They turned out great and there are more pictures below.
Way earlier in the year I saw this cute little gift that A little Crafting did to start of the year with her young women. The mutual theme this year was "Arise and Shine Forth" which is another reason the theme for the evening worked so well, they just went together. We had intended on giving these to the girls as their Christmas gift but decided instead to hand them out this evening. The little lightbulb containers were perfect to go along with "Shining" and Shelly did a wonderful job dressing them up to match our evening.
Some closer pictures of the decorations.
It's always fun to tie the theme colors into the food and drink. We had lemonade and the adorable and always fun paper straws for the drinks.
Because we were able to this year we splurged and decided to have Beyond Glaze supply our dessert. They are a work of art and a decoration all their own. Katie picked them all out and made the cute signs so everyone would know what they were eating. There are a whole bunch of pictures because I think they were beautiful.
My personal favorite part of the evening. Lisa had copies of the pictures we took throughout the year printed for the girls. She had a copy printed for each of the girls that were in the picture and then we spent election evening taping them all to poster boards so when the evening was over the girls could pick off the pictures they were in and put them in the photo album we gave them. I loved watching the girls looking through the pictures and talking about all the fun they've had together. I really think this is going to need to be a tradition, I felt such unity from the girls while they were doing this.
I'm not 100% sure on all I should share that was personal for the girls. Along the back of the room we had round tables set up and all the girls who wanted to brought some of the projects they did throughout the year and decorated their table. Throughout the program we had different girls "Shine" for us by sharing their talents. We had 2 young women play amazing piano pieces and 2 more sing and play guitar for us. We had a couple who choreographed a dance to go along with our camp song from the year "He Knows Me Better" (it can be found and downloaded for free here) and then video'd it and shared it with us. We had displays of art work and cakes, highlights from working hard in sports and testimonies of how they've grown while reading their scriptures. The girls who wanted to had the opportunity to talk about their display, what they did and what they learned from it. It was amazing to hear how they've grown throughout the year.
We also had a video put together for the girls who wanted to be in it. They shared a story about one of the personal progress goals they completed, shared their testimony or just spoke about young women's or personal progress in general and what it meant to them. Even my (very soon to be) 12 year old was in the video and was able to share a little of her excitement about joining young women's and what she's looking forward to.
I can't imagine how the evening could have gone better. It was wonderful to see the girls really put thought, time and effort into the night and really make it their own. They all shine and I'm so proud of them.