Friday, July 24, 2009

Group Activity Ideas

Activity Group ideas

Here are some ideas for Activity Groups that might meet weekly or monthly. This was found on another Relief Society blog (HERE): If you like to use "titles" for your activities - here are some possibilities...

Pamper night: nails, feet, massage
Burn baby burn: computers and cd's
Angels among us: working closely with DI on projects
Sweet as Pie: making pies, pastries, etc
Celestial sisters: attend temple once a month
Eat your Wheaties: Food storage, recipes, organization, etc
It's Dirty work but someone's gotta do it: Housecleaning, tips, organization
Articles of Faith: memorize, tips to help children memorize, learn songs that go with them
Beach party/Spring Break: volleyball and light foods
Hooked on Reading: Book club- read and discussion
Share n' tear: Scrapbooking Blooming bulbs: gardening and yard work
Munch and Mingle: get together for lunch either at church, someone's home, or progressive dinner
Unfinished projects corner: self explanatory!
Blanket Brigade: making quilts...bring your own or come help others
One Dish Wonders: crock pot cooking
Ensign to the Nation: read and discuss current Ensign
Knead to Know Basics: bread making, rolls, specialty breads, etc
Tatt-a-tatt-tatt: crochet handkerchief
Cultural Night: productions at local theaters like symphony, plays, etc
Girls night out: go to a movie, dinner, sports, whatever with just the girls
American Idol: work on a talent or learn a new one
Tic Toc: Time management
Beyond the Pedigree Chart: writing your life history
Beauty shop Quartet: learn to sing or play an instrument
"me" time: What are my needs and how to make time for them
Quilting Bee
Park Pals - meet at parks with little ones to play while moms visit
Stroller stride - walk together while pushing the stroller

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Economical" Cooking Class ideas...

Hi Sisters;

I found this recipe on an enrichment website. It might be a fun idea once school starts, summer ends, and winter is around the corner. Perhaps you could invite older sisters to contribute their recipes they remember from those infamous Depression days - maybe even ask them to help present, or do a little "intro" for the class (before the demo, etc...) It would even be fun (if your group is small enough) to do this in a home, allowing everyone to help prepare the meal to share at the conclusion.

Depression Era Recipes

Depression Era Recipes
Preparedness Helps

MAIN DISH - Poor Man's Soup

1 soup bone
1 cup dry beans
2 cup tomatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced potatoes
1/2 cup rice
1/3 cup gound beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper
1/8 tsp basil
Soak beans over ight and drain.
Simmer soup bone in 8 qts of water for several house. Add drained beans and simmer for 45 minutes. Fry beef and onion. Add to soup along with remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour. Serve with bisquits.

BREAKFAST - Pancakes From Scratch

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
Stir tegther dry ingredients. Make a well and add wet ingredients. Mix til moistened. Cook on hot griddle or skillet.
Makes 8-10 starde sized pancakes.
Serve with Applesauce or homemade berry jam, jelly or syrup.

BREAD - Baking Powder Bisquits

2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbls lard (shortening, butter etc.)
1 cup milk
Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in lard and add milk gradually. Mix to a smooth dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with bisquit cutter (or cup). Place on cookie sheet. Bake in quick oven. (400* for 8-10 mins).

DESSERT - Vintage WW1 Eggless, Milkless, Butterless Cake

1 cup water
2 cups raisins (Opt)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup lard (shortening)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Place water, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, lard (shortening), nutmeg and salt in a saucepan and mix. Place on heat and bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes. Allow to cool, then sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir into cooked mixture.Place in a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for one hour.

Grandma's Brown Sugar Fudge

An old family recipe passed down for generations.

4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine brown sugar & milk in saucepan, and stir until the sugar begins to dissolve.
Cook over medium-high heat until mixture reaches the “soft ball” stage (about 235 degrees).
Remove from heat, and add butter & vanilla.
Mix until smooth & creamy. Fudge will lose its shine and feel somewhat gritty on the bottom of the pot.
Pour into buttered 9 x 13 glass pan.
Let partially set and cut into squares.

Friday, July 10, 2009

7th Ward Relief Society Meeting Ideas

Julie George (counselor in the 7th Ward) sent these ideas in:

from now till December:

We just had a Sisterhood and Salad in Heidi Martell's backyard.

We have a group called "Tapestry" coming in December for our Christmas Meeting.

We will have a craft meeting in the fall - our traditional Witches Night Out.

We have mid-month ideas of:

Playing baseball with the young women. (Great idea for YW Transition, don't you think?)

Hiking Ensign's Peak this fall after studying a different virtue each month for our presidency message.

Then we will post our flag with all of the virtues.

Thanks Julie! I'm sure she would be glad to "elaborate" on any of these if you have questions. (leave it in a comment and I'll forward it on to her...)

Pioneer Day is coming...

This is probably too MUCH too LATE, but maybe you can use this in your planning for next summer? I found this on the Visiting Teaching Tips blog (in the sidebar to the right...) Using some of these ideas in an enrichment activity might be a good lesson in "making do with what we have"...

Pioneer Recipes

To go to the links to find these pioneer recipes, you will need to copy and paste the link in the address bar. Enjoy your reading. Katie G.

You can find the following Pioneer Recipes by going to this link

Buttermilk Doughnuts-“Pioneer Recipes,” Friend, July 1975, 40 (President Brignam Young enjoyed this pastry)
Apple Candy
Bread and Milk - President Wilford Woodruff often enjoyed this.
Old-Fashioned Muffins - Horseshoe Cookies
Johnnycake - A favorite dish of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Washboard Cookies
Toasted Spicecake
Pioneer Hardtack

Homemade Butter - I found this cute blog that shows the process for making homemade butter in a jar. go to


I found a cute cookbook that you can read portions of it online called "Log Cabin Cooking" and you can find it at this link


Pioneer Soap
106 ounces rendered fat, or tallow, or combination of both
14 ounces lye
41 ounces cold water
NOTE - If you use rendered kitchen fat you may opt to add fragrance to minimize the cooking odors.

If you want a variety of other types of soap recipes go to


You can find more of the Pioneer Recipes found below by going to this link:

Honey Candy
Pioneer Lettuce Salad
Rice in Cream
Molasses Candy


Even More Pioneer recipes found at this link:

Nauvoo Ginger Cookies
Homemade Butter
Old-Fashioned Pickles


Now if all these Pioneer recipes aren't enough for you, then go to the following link and you will find all kinds of recipes and even more fun things. t


Yet even some more recipes that you have not yet seen go to

Women to Women Service Project Idea

Hello Sisters;
I stumbled on this idea as I was browsing one of my favorite RS blogs... I thought it looked like it would have possibilities for an enrichment evening in a ward (or stake)... I found the idea on this blog...

Thought this may be of help to get your creativity going...

This event started with our desire to have a Saturday of nice Relief Society service projects like quilts and baby bibs - easy things that everyone likes to do. We recruited a sister (I've blocked their names in case they don't appreciate this being "circulated") to be the project chairman and she had some fun plans. We went to the Humanitarian Center for materials and they offered us a huge project - not something cute like we had in mind, but a pilot program called Feminine Hygiene Kits. Our job was to make the reusable cloth sanitary pads and holders that would be included in a kit and sent to third world countries where women and teenage girls have no products like we have for their monthly period. We learned that the women end up staying at home and missing work and school during one week of every month. Several international relief agencies are working on ways to help with this problem. This Feminine Hygiene Kit is in a drawstring bag and includes four pair of underpants, 16 cloth sanitary pads, 4 holders for the pads, nail clippers and a ziplock baggie. Our assignment was to sew 800 holders and 1600 pads. At first I was overwhelmed and almost said no. We had a meeting and our food chairman for the event, Karen Wood, encouraged me that there would be no project more satisfying and fulfilling that helping other women in this regard. My counselors and chairman jumped in with enthusiasm and started advertising and recruiting help. Once we explained this project to women in our area, they got excited and eager to be part of it. We also made three quilts and eight 'hugs,' which I can't explain but I'll get a photo sometime soon.

Our food chairman and her committee fixed a beautiful brunch of roasted vegetable frittata; green salad with dressing, craisins, and sugared almonds; homemade whole wheat bread; homemade (yesterday by xxxx) strawberry jam; and an assortment of cookies and fruit. It was absolutely delicious. Everyone loved it and in between sewing or quilting, they enjoyed sitting and visiting over fabulously-prepared food.

Monday, June 1, 2009

You're Invited:

Enrichment Counselors:

Please invite your Enrichment Leaders - and also your committee members - to view this blog and contribute! It's a win-win situation to share ideas with one another...

I have added each of the Enrichment Counselors as "authors" on this blog. That means that (once you accept the invitation to join this blog) you are allowed to use the "New Post" feature at the top right to add your own ideas in a post.

If you have an Enrichment Leader and/or committee members who you would like to be able to contribute as well - please send me their name and email and I will add them. This will enable them to participate as you can.

A Great Way to Involve Mothers, their Young Women daughters, and Women of ALL Ages...

Dear River Stake Enrichment Committees;

Here is another idea for a possible "Focus" in your upcoming enrichment planning... When I read this in the Church News a month back, it really stood out to me as a way to involve more sisters in your Enrichment activities in a meaningful way...

This could be a great way to link together those sisters who are working in the Young Women in your ward, help mothers and daughters work together on a common goal, and help those young sisters who are transitioning into the Relief Society feel a part of this unusual Enrichment activity. Everyone wins! It would be appropriate for sisters of any age or circumstance...

On April 18th (in the Church News) there was an article entitled "A Return to Virtue" - where it describes a new pamphlet detailing the new Virtue value experiences. Sister Elaine S. Dalton (YW General President) said this:

"As we call for a return to virtue, we would like to ask all young women, their mothers, and their leaders to complete this additional value experience."

"We promise each young woman, their mothers, and each leader who goes the extra mile and completes this new value experience will receive additional blessings of strength, confidence, and peace."

In fact, Sister Dalton and her counselors feel so strongly that each young woman complete the experience that they are completing it themselves. For example, Sister Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, is working on it with her mother.

The value project for the new virtue experience is to read the entire Book of Mormon.

"What can help strengthen any young woman's virtue?" said Sister Cook. "It would be a greater understanding of the Book of Mormon."

The value experiences require young women to define virtue and analyze the promised blessings of being virtuous, to understand the importance of having the companionship of the Holy Ghost, to study the questions from Alma in the Book of Mormon (Alma 5) and to repent and remain pure and worthy. "It is a personal evaluation of your standing before the Lord," said Sister Dibb.

If you have any ideas on how to implement this in your ward enrichment planning - please leave a comment or question...

Good luck with your planning!

Love, Anne

Spiritual Development Ideas...

I found these ideas on a website called Although we are discouraged from getting our "inspiration" from only the the internet - these had some merit.

Spiritual Development

Hero's Night - We held a hero's night where we had some speakers come and talk to us about their service with the military. One speaker had served in Vietnam and another was a current servicemen who had been in Iraq. They focused on how the gospel had helped them through their service. We also honored any current servicemen that we had serving in our ward. We honored them and their mothers. Then we had refreshments afterward and put together packages to send to the troops. It was a great night with lots of tears!

Scripture Study - Have a class on how to study the scriptures, using cross references etc. Use a dynamic teacher in your own ward or stake, or an exceptional return missionary who is still "on fire" from preaching the Gospel. If promoted correctly, this could be a great continuing enrichment activity.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homemade Yogurt in a Crockpot?

I found this on one of the links to the right... This has potential to be a fun enrichment activity for a group - or even for an evening... The actual link is at the bottom:

"I have a yogurt maker but it has always been so complicated, I have to feel really motivated to do it. I tried this recipe and it is great! I just blended my home canned peaches from last fall with a cup of it and it is like eating Ice Cream YUMMM!

Homemade Yogurt in a Crock Pot
--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, butdo NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)
--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need tohave a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)
--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring
--thick bath towel
The Directions
This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home tomonitor. I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!
Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours. Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.
When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in abowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.
Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.
Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened--- it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.
Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.
Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.
The Verdict.
Wowsers! This is awesome! I was completely astonished the next morning that the yogurt thickened. I was so excited to feel the drag on my spoon. You can add honey for sweetening. This is so much more cost-effective than the little things of yo-baby I was buying.
To thicken the best, add one packet of unflavored gelatin to the mix after stirring in the yogurt with active cultures. Some have had good success mixing non-fat milk powder in as well. The way I created fruit-flavored yogurt was by taking a cup or so of the plain and blending it in the stand blender (vitamix) with frozen fruit. Although this tastes great, the yogurt never thickened back up the way the plain did. I think maybe keeping the plain separate and adding fruit daily is your best bet. Or you can try the gelatin trick.
I was able to achieve a Greek-style yogurt this afternoon by lining a colander with a coffee liner and letting the liquid drip out of the leftover plain I made. The remaining yogurt was as thick as sour cream. I do not know how this will work with soy milk and soy yogurt or rice milk and rice yogurt. I'd imagine it would work similarly, but I haven not tested this out."

Article found at this LINK:
This is from Joyce Loftus - 4th Ward Enrichment counselor... She has a valid point - probably something you have all found lacking in your own wards. Please add your comments - and any ideas you have found helpful in your own ward.

"A suggestion, perhaps ... I would like to know what other wards are doing that could bring in the newly married's or younger women of the ward to the Enrichment evenings or activities. I feel that is where I am lacking and I am not sure what to do about it. When I was their age, Relief Society activities were not a priority. I can understand where they are coming from but I would sure like to see them more involved. The younger ones are great to help if asked but I can't keep asking them just to get them to come. Plus, some I have asked and they have agreed - and then not shown up. It is an interesting age group that has so much to offer."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From the 8th Ward - "Grandmother's Apron"

I felt like I literally had "Christmas" today when I found a folder from Myrl Breinholt (8th Ward) on my porch. In it is a CD entitled "Cooking From My Pantry" that has a wealth of information to answer literally any question you may have about living on what we store (or SHOULD be storing!)

There were also two copies of their "Cooking From Your Pantry" newsletter - what great information!

I have seen their fun displays as I've been at my meetings in the red building for the past several months - but now I know what their theme really entails. Here is just a snippet of what they are doing:

Back to Basics is our goal this year using Grandmother's Apron as the vehicle. We will be teaching cooking things from scratch, repairing, and reusing.

Each month we will be having all of our enrichment activities on the same night in the same place - the second Tuesday at the Church. We hope this will give sisters consistency and greater fellowship.

Our kickoff was on Jan 13 with a reader's theater including memories about our grandmothers, poems and a song written by Julie Dibble. Suzanne Roberts demonstrated her delicious dinner rolls.

Each month we will be having a short game of "Are you smarter than your grandmother?" including fun facts from days gone by that introduce our activity for the evening. February will be another cooking class featuring frosting recipes and cookie and cake decorating.

March is our service auction. Each sister has received a list of ways to earn currency for the auction. Some of them include things like arriving at Sacrament Meeting on time and getting Visiting Teaching done by the 15th of the month. Each sister will tally up her score and use the points as currency to "buy" service from another sister.

There is a dress form on the RS table with an apron containing weekly challenges and Grandmother sayings. All of these things are to focus on the wisdom and skills of the past that we need to use to be more self sufficient.

There will continue to be a Cooking From Your Pantry newsletter every month available on the RS table featuring suggestions and information for emergency preparedness.

If you would like a copy of Myrl's CD - I am happy to make one for you. Please email me at and I'll get that to you.

Coming next from the 8th Ward - their monthly humanitarian project at Enrichment Meeting for the sisters to participate in or to take home. (I'll be contacting her to get information, or she is welcome to post it here also)