Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

May’s Enrichment Night May 7, 2008

     Last night was our ward’s monthly Enrichment night.  This is my thing, my responsibility, my church calling, and I have a love-hate relationship with it.  It is a LOT of work getting everything set up, and it’s a never-ending process.  When one activity is over, there’s never any down time; I’ve already got to be thinking about the next month’s activity.  I have a committee to help me, but we’re still coming together and figuring things out, and while I’m trying so hard to delegate the responsibility, when committee members don’t follow through, I’m the one that has to pick up the pieces.  It is TOTALLY worth the stress, though, when people have a good time, there’s a lot of socialization, and we have a feeling of unity and love. 

 

     Some months are good, and others are disastrous.  While most wards can boast about their high attendance of fifty-plus, I feel lucky if ten women show up.  If I’m being completely honest, our lack of ward participation makes me wonder why I go to all the effort.  (I know, I know…  it’s my job.  It just feels futile, some months.)   Last night there were twelve women in total, and we had a blast.  It was definitely a “good” month for the 5th Ward Relief Society, even with such (comparatively) low attendance.

 

     The plan was to discuss Elder M. Russell Ballard’s General Conference talk on honoring mothers, share our feelings about his (wonderful! encouraging!) words, and offer suggestions about how to squeeze some me-time into a busy schedule, as well as fun ideas for pampering on a budget.  We also offered an easy (but not-so-quick, it turns out…) and inexpensive Mother’s Day gift for anyone who wanted to put it together.  They were these cute little soap bottles that had this message inside them:

 

 

Mother

____________________

 

Grateful Hands

Loyal Hands

Clean Hands  Loving Hands

Strong Hands

Giving Hands   Praying Hands

Helping Hands

Kind Hands

Willing Hands

Caring Hands  Friendly Hands

 

 

We personalized them, so some said “Grandma”, some said “Aunt”, and two even had the names of my kids’ teachers, in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week.  (Look at that!  It paid off for me to be in charge!  No one else had personalized teacher gifts!  ha ha)

*****

The finished projects

 

 A close-up

*****

     So, I’ve done these events enough times to know that nothing ever quite goes according to plan.  I couldn’t get some of the women to stop giggling and chatting long enough to pray, let alone review an article.  The Conference-talk plan quickly fell to the wayside in favor of discussing houseguests (and how to evict them when they’ve worn out their welcome), home remodeling, carpet cleaning, and American Idol.  (Seriously, one of the funniest things I heard all night was not that the women aged 55+ were talking about the contestants with knowledge and authority, but that their super-serious, over-sixty-five, High-Priest husbands faithfully voted for David Archuleta each week!  Several times per night!  It was all I could do to keep a straight face.  I am going to have a real problem keeping my composure on Sunday when I see those men!)

 

     We snacked on fruits and vegetables, dips, and bread while we visited, and eventually the soap-bottle-making got underway.  We cut, stuffed, stuck, poured, twisted (and rinsed, usually, because the soap got EVERYWHERE!) and tied, and three hours later, everyone had cute bottles to take home, that only cost $1.75 each.  You can imagine the mess after 12 women made 78 bottles.  (Whoever shampoos the carpet next will have more than enough soap to clean the entire  church, with the amount of soap spilled in that one room.  *shrug*  At least it will smell nice for Gospel Doctrine this Sunday.)

 

     I dragged myself home at 10:15 PM and fell asleep almost immediately.  Poor Kenny…

 

     Yeah, it was a good month for the 5th Ward RS Enrichment.   

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13 Responses to “May’s Enrichment Night”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Hey–WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!! And HOORAY for reaping the rewards of all that hard work, with all those awesome gifts!!

    Hey–I have some q’s for ya–but I don’t know your email. Could you email me?? Please?? 🙂 I think you have my email address (I put it on this form) if not, leave me a quick comment and I will get it to you!

    Thanks a ton!

    • Natalie Christiansen Says:

      I love this idea and have all my materials. I am going to make them with my achievement day girls for Christmas gifts. I must need your templates to get some more ideas of the sayings we can use. Would you mind sending them to me?
      Thank you so much!!

  2. Melissa Says:

    Thank you sooooooooo much. Words can not express my thanks. I have been searching the web to find that exact “Hands” saying for about a week now. I am doing the same project for my enrichment night and I was going crazy trying to find the exact words for the inside of the bottle. I’m so happy you posted all your crafty-ness so others like me can benefit from you. Now I love your blog and will check it often.

  3. kweenmama Says:

    Great idea for an enrichment night! That used to be my calling once upon a time (I was rereading my journal from a few years back and it was full of entries about that calling). Now I serve with the cubscouts…maybe I want the enrichment calling back!

  4. princess jen Says:

    Hi! I, too, am the ward HFPE leader. Right now I’m looking for ideas for our next quarterly activity (a luau). I’m sorry you are feeling the stress! I’m finally getting a committee (after almost 3 years in the calling!). However, I’m not sure why you are still having a big activity each month. Things have been so much easier for me since we only have “big” activities once a quarter and we have the smaller activities the rest of the time.

  5. Kemi Says:

    We do big activities and small ones. That was the counsel our ward leaders gave us. We were having small activities where no one showed up but the person who had planned it, and it was really hard to sustain any sort of small group. (We even sent around an interest survey, and these were the things that scored the highest on the survey!)

    We usually get between 6-10 women at the big activities, and 1-3 for the small ones. The bishop felt like having a large activity and getting a handful of women was better than planning several small ones where no one showed up.

    It’s quite sad, really.

  6. Charleese Says:

    Those soap bottles are so cute! I’m planning to make some and have been searching for a place to purchase the empty pump bottles, but have had no luck. Can you tell me where your purchased them? I will need to purchase about 3 dozen or so. Also, did you photocopy the hands saying on overhead transparency paper? Better yet, is there a web site that has the instructions?
    You’re doing a great job in your calling — I’ve been EN leader before, and it is a ton of work. Good job on your May Enrichment — keep up the good work!

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  9. annell barlow Says:

    Could I please get a copy of your template for your soap bottle? Thanks so much!

  10. Donna Richards Says:

    Can you e-mail me the template?

    It is really a cute idea.

  11. Melisa Steele Says:

    Could you please send me a copy of the template for the soap bottle? We are going to give these as birthday gifts for our Relief Society sisters. Thanks.


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