Saturday, June 16, 2012

Kingswood Park Ward Laurel Shower

Tonight was our first annual Laurel Shower.  Holly came and cleaned early this morning.  Melon Man took off and spent the day in Prescott which I was totally cool with.  Linda called me and asked if I needed help - and I said yes.  Our bishop's wife helped fluff the rest of the pom poms for me.  Cindy answered tons of questions late one night.  Poor Dog had to stay in the kennel the whole day, but he was so good.  I was so grateful for everyone's help.
Linda graciously sprayed down the front walkway or doorstep area to get all the dust off of it so my freshly cleaned wood floors wouldn't have foot prints all over them.  She came in after she was done and she was soaked over 3/4 of her body.  We couldn't help but laugh - did she spray down the walkway or herself?  It was actually the faucet that got her when she turned off the water.
Linda arranged all of the goblets for me in a beautiful arrangement.  Looking at the picture now, I wonder...we probably should have put them right side up!  Oh well!  We ended up having to change out the water dispenser - this one ended up leaking right from the get go.  Crud - it was brand new.
The table for the food.
Our Jordan River temple picture as the focal point for the night.
Even the hallway had a pom pom hanging in it.
The house looked beautiful.  (It photographs nicely, doesn't it!?!)
The pom poms and gifts for the girls.
Part of the food for the evening.  I ended up putting the brunch sandwiches on the white oval  platter and the green salad in a silver bowl on the silver platter but just never got a picture of it all finally ready.  I made the Brunch Sandwiches and Shelly's Salad from the Princess Party I did for Enrichment a few years ago. 
I started the evening off by welcoming everyone.  Here is my "script" that I used as direction for the evening...

Welcome!  I am so glad all of you and your moms are here!  I’m sad that we’re missing a few who couldn’t attend tonight for one reason or another.  Tonight is a special night!  It’s our first Laurel Shower – hopefully of many more to come throughout the years!  I’m hoping that this special night will become an annual tradition in our ward.
Tonight is a special night, sure to be filled with fun, tradition, and laughter.  Tonight is a night for us to say farewell to our outgoing Laurels who will be embarking on a new part of their lives soon – school, jobs, missions, possibly marriage, and eventually babies and all of the joy and heartaches that come along with all of those.
While tonight is sure to be a lot of fun, the main focus of tonight is preparing for what the future holds – and hopefully that includes going to the temple –
  1. To receive your own endowment – the gifts that our Heavenly Father has for you if you live worthily,
  2. To do the saving ordinances for those who have gone on before and didn’t have the opportunity to receive them while here on Earth, and
  3. To be sealed for time and all eternity to the man of your dreams.
Speaking of marrying that man of your dreams…what fun would a “shower” be without a silly, fun activity?  

So, I’d like all of you girls and moms to first divide into 3 groups.  

When you think of that day – your wedding day – what’s the first thing you think about?  The dress, right?!?!  Well, we’re going to have a little wedding dress fashion show!  Each team will choose one girl to be the model and then the other girls will make a modest wedding dress for her.  I’ll give you your materials in just a minute.  And, so the girls don’t have ALL the fun…you moms, as the mothers of these future brides, have the task of writing a fashion runway “script” that tells all of us all about the lovely bride, “what and who” the bride is wearing, etc.  You’ll have 10 minutes to complete the task.  Ok, ready, go!
Haylei and Maddie Craig
Danika Cones and Ashley Vest
Becky Alldredge and her mom, Diana, with Sabrina Martin and her mom, Yvonne
Not quite sure what happened here to Haylei's gown, but her mom's write up with hilarious
Ashley's dress was such that she couldn't even move for the fashion show or it would lose pieces.  Ha, ha!
Looks like Becky also lost a few pieces to hers!  Nice fat stomach , Fatty Girl.
I was happy to see that they all created initially modest dresses - can't help that they fell apart quickly!  Okay...moving on...

You young ladies look absolutely fabulous!  I’m sure you will look even more beautiful the day you do get married!

While it’s fun to dress up in the pretty, white gown, get your hair all lifted, and curled, and pinned with a few hundred pins, get the pretty nails done, and think about who your 27 bridesmaids are going to be…it’s important to think about “what” you’re doing and where you’re doing it.  The “right” place is the temple, where your marriage is performed by someone with authority received from God, not just the “state” or the “internet.”  It’s the right place because it’s where families are sealed together for eternity – not just “til death do us part.”  It is where couples who truly love one another covenant with God and with each other to continue to follow His ways, now as husband and wife.

You may be thinking…”I’m still young, I just barely graduated or haven't even graduated yet.  I’m not going to get married for a long time.”  Or, “I’m going to go to school, get a career, make millions, and then, I’ll get married.”  Sometimes it doesn’t happen like that.  Sometimes, you date a boy, he leaves on a mission, you promise to go to school and wait for him, then some returned missionary comes along, eager to follow his mission president’s counsel to marry quickly and sweeps you off your feet and all of a sudden you’re writing a letter to Elder so-and-so and then picking out dresses and flowers.  It can happen.  It does happen – all the time.  

The point I want to make is that while you may think that you have a few (or many) years left before you get married, the fact is that things don’t always happen as we “plan” them.  It’s important that you’re prepared when that time arrives.  What if you meet Mr. Perfect and Charming and he wants to marry you – in the temple - but you are not living as such that you are PREPARED to go to the temple?  That would be really sad!

Tonight I’ve asked a special friend of mine, Sister Megan Asper, to share with you her thoughts and experiences regarding being prepared to go to the temple.  Sister Asper…

Somehow, we didn't get a picture of her speaking or the cute road map she used in her talk.  She did a fabulous job though.  I need to ask her for a copy of her talk so I can share a number of the points she made in it here....

(MEGAN - if you read this, would you be willing to send me a copy?)

Thank you Sister Asper.  The temple is a wonderful place.  It’s peaceful.  It’s sacred.  It’s INCREDIBLE.  What you will learn and experience there is far beyond what you now know having gone only to do baptisms.  You will love going to the temple as your knowledge and understanding increase.  You will find solace there when you are troubled.  You will feel the spirit of those who have been waiting for their work to be done.  You will feel the comfort of the Lord.  And, you will someday kneel at the altar,  look across at your sweet husband, see him wink at you, grin, and feel your heart go pitter-patter all over again because you know that he’s yours for eternity.

President Monson said, “There is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple. Your sacrifice may be bringing your life into compliance with what is required to receive a recommend, perhaps by forsaking long-held habits which disqualify you. It may be having the faith and the discipline to pay your tithing. Whatever it is, qualify to enter the temple of God. Secure a temple recommend and regard it as a precious possession, for such it is.”

Tonight, I challenge each of you to commit to getting married in the temple and to begin preparing now to do so.  To help you, I have a special little card for each of you – a card you can sign and carry around with you in your wallet – that will help you remember your commitment.  Take it home, make that commitment to yourself and to Heavenly Father in prayer.  Sign it.  Stick it in your wallet where you will see it every time you open it.  Live so one day, when the time arrives, you will be ready to go to the temple.

Now, what would a shower be without gifts?  In my family, in recent years, we’ve begun a special tradition for our new brides.  At first, I thought it was an odd idea.  But, I have truly come to love it and I wanted to share it with all of you. It is called a “traditions” shower.

A “traditions” shower, you may ask?  Well, when a young woman and a young man get married, they are merging two very different lives together.  They have traditions they have had while in their own families, but they have no traditions together.  

We decided that it would be fun, and useful, to shower them with gifts that pertain to family traditions from their own families and friends and those traditions can be incorporated into their new life together.

An example would be:  if your family has a tradition of setting the table on Sundays with a pretty tablecloth and cloth napkins, you might receive your own pretty tablecloth and set of napkins to put into your hope chest.  

I’ve asked your moms to bring something special that relates to a tradition in your family that they’d like to pass on to you for your someday family.

So, moms…who would like to go first?  Tell us a little about your family tradition and what this means to you.

So, that's what happened next.  Each of the moms gave their daughters a gift that represented a tradition in their family that they wanted to pass down to their daughters.  There were temple pictures, cooking and baking utensils, family picture frames, trinkets that have been passed down from mother to daughter through the years, and such.

The very last mom to go gave her daughter a gift that really touched my heart.  Inside a box were two was a handkerchief, the other a little frame with the name Mary in it.  She explained that the handkerchief was from when their family went to the Oquirrh Mountain temple dedication and that her daughter didn't know, but that she had saved it for her to give to her one day when she finally went to the temple for her own endowment, but that she wanted to give it to her tonight instead to help her remember the feelings she had felt that day and to help her work toward going to the temple.  She then told about the picture frame with the name Mary in it.  Mary is this daughter's middle name and the mom explained that the tradition in their family is that the middle name of a child comes from an ancestor.  She shared some things about this ancestor and how when the daughter finally goes to the temple, she can do the work for some of her own ancestors.  It was the perfect touch for the night!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this evening and have felt the spirit here with us.  Our Heavenly Father wants only the best for you and you can have that through the blessings of the temple.

There is something about this evening that I wonder if anyone noticed.  Any guesses?

All of the décor for this evening, everything I could, I made sure was white.  Why?  Because in the temple we all wear white.  It makes us equal.  It is simple, clean.  It symbolizes purity.  I wanted these things to stand out for you among all the other worldly things in my home so you could notice the beauty of white.  Someday, you will wear a white temple dress.  It will be simple.  It will be clean.  It will make you equal among all your brothers and sisters there with you in the temple.  But, that temple dress will make you feel closer to Heavenly Father and our brother, Jesus Christ, than you have ever felt before.  Honor it.  

I love each and every one of you young ladies.  I want only the best for you and I know that our Heavenly Father does too.  Work toward the temple.  Commit NOW to yourself that you will only be married there and then do it.  Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from it. 

Tonight, in the spirit of the temple and of traditions and gifts, I, too, have a special gift for each of you girls.  I hope you like them…and that someday, your very own temple dress will hang on one too.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I gave each of the girls a white satin padded hanger with this card hanging from a white ribbon on it.  I found out that a number of them already had them (boo, oh well), but now they will have one for their wedding AND temple dresses.

Afterward, we had an awesome cake that I will post the recipe for in a separate entry.  And then, we posed for pictures.  It seems that we always pose for pictures around the island when the girls come over, so that's what we did tonight too.  Ashley and her mom had to leave before we could take the pictures - bummer!  I wish Sammy, Tina, and Jennifer could have been here too.  It would have been the perfect night.
Me with 5 of my 9 Laurels:  Sabrina Martin, Danika Cones, me, Becky Alldredge, Madison Craig, and Haylei Craig  (man, my hair really looks awful here!)
Kelly Brown (YW President), Linda Maurer (who I was so grateful for helping me all day and then coming back to keep helping, but also to participate), Yvonne Martin, me, Danette Cones, Danika Cones, Sabrina Martin, Becky Alldredge, Diana Alldredge, Madison Craig, Kelly Craig, and Haylei Craig.
We eventually did get a picture of Megan Asper with me.  So cute!  Love this young woman!  She and I held up all the baby's breath in front of us to hide tummies - mine mainly - hers is a cute pregnancy tummy, but also to show off the awesome baby's breath I got for the table!  She and I worked together in Primary - she was the music leader and I was the pianist.  I have gotten to know her and just love her.  I was so grateful she was so willing to be our speaker for tonight.
When we were done for the evening and everyone had gone home, Linda and I plopped down on the sofas and just enjoyed the peaceful feeling we had there.  Kind of reminded me of the peace we feel in the temple.

I have really struggled over the last year in feeling accepted by the girls in my class.  I know it's hard at their age.  I know it's hard with constant change in leaders.  And, I know it's hard for them to connect with me because I work a lot and have to miss Mutual sometimes.  But...I felt like tonight was a turning point - a sad moment for the three that are leaving the Young Women organization and moving on to Relief Society and a happy moment where I connected even more with the others that are still in my class for another year.  I will lose 3 in the next month and gain 1 new one.  Then, I think I have one or 2 more new ones later this year.  I started off with just four when I was called to be the Laurel Advisor last year.  I hope these young ladies remember what they felt here tonight and what we talked about and will live righteously so they can go to the temple someday - and I hope they invite me to be there with them that special day.


Cindy said...

It was PERFECT, PERFECT, PERFECT in every way! Awesome and wonderful. Good job, cousin dear!


Cindy said...

PS: Tutorial pleas for the pom poms. What a nice touch!