New Beginnings - "I Will!"
This year’s New Beginnings theme—“I Will!”—was inspired by a talk given at our recent stake conference by our Area Seventy, Elder Carlos Villarreal. He retold the familiar story of the “Little Red Hen,” and said that it that was so profound and applicable to today that it is almost like a parable from the Bible. He likened the Little Red Hen’s request for help growing the wheat and baking the bread to the Savior’s invitation for us to follow Him. When he asked, “Who will follow Jesus Christ?” a little 4-year old boy a few years behind us enthusiastically called out, “I Will!”
We hope that this theme will inspire our Young Women to show the same zeal in fulfilling the YW motto to stand for truth and righteousness. This skit, “Little Red Henrietta” is about a new Beehive who is hungering for the Bread of Life, and invites other girls to join her in doing Personal Progress to draw closer to the Savior. After learning about Personal Progress from a group of fellow young women, Henrietta talks to girls who are too distracted, too busy, or too self-absorbed to work on different value experiences with her. Near the end of the skit she approaches a group of ‘gossip girls’ and asks them to attend church with her. While most of the girls walk away, one girl named Gabby remains and responds, “I will.” She admits that she, too, is hungering for something, so Henrietta shares a scripture with her about how Christ is the Bread of Life. The skit ends as Henrietta offers to tell Gabby how Young Women’s can help her draw closer to the Savior.
Our "New Beginnings" program for Young Women's is coming up in February, and I was so excited to find cute ideas on Pintrest for using the Disney movie "UP" as a motif. I wrote this skit to explain the Young Women's program and show how each of the YW values correlate with phrases from the 2016 youth theme: 2 Nephi 31:20.
The skit is set in a "Wilderness Explorer" meeting, so most of the YW would wear simple 'uniforms' consisting of baseball hats, neckerchiefs, and sashes with paper badges. Two of the three main speaking parts would involve simple costumes like those Russell and Mr. Fredrickson wear in the movie. There are also over a dozen smaller parts, including opportunities for each Young Women to briefly share what she likes about the Young Women's program or to personalize certain sections. The skit includes fairly simple props-- the most important being 16 helium balloons in the 8 value colors. These balloons can do double-duty as the decorations for the evening (we're planning to attach them to a small painted birdhouse). The skit ends as a gift bag labeled "Eternal Life" is lifted "UP" by helium balloons labeled with the YW values and phrases from 2 Nephi 31:20.
"My Mind's a Sacred Place" (new original song)—
Arm your Children with the Power of Music to Fend off the Evils of Pornography!
(This blog post was originally published on PrimaryinZion.wordpress.com on November 2, 2015)
About half-way through his mission, my oldest son wrote home and said, "Whenever I have some kind of temptation or negative thought, I just think of punching Satan in the face." I'm a pretty non- violent kind of girl, but I have to admit that when I acknowledge how aggressively Satan is targeting our young, innocent children with pornography, all my mama bear instincts kick in and I want to launch a full-scale offensive attack. Just thinking about Satan's attempts to envelope our children in darkness and isolation while twisting their view of love, robbing them of self-worth, and ensnaring them in addiction transforms me from a peace-loving pacifist into a wanna-be sniper. I want to take Satan out long before he has a chance to pollute the minds of our precious children.
The Elephant Butte Influence in Cupcake Girl
By Catherine Doxey White
When the ideas for my Young Adult inspirational romance, Cupcake Girl first started to form in my mind, I pictured 17-year old Max and Lexie as childhood friends who grew up playing near a densely wooded river, probably somewhere in the south. Having never lived in the south, I wasn't crazy about the setting and the story didn't go beyond that first mental picture.
Then we took a weekend trip to Elephant Butte reservoir for our kids to participate in the "Dam-It Man Duathlon." There's always something a little magical for me about going to the lake, but this drive from Albuquerque to Elephant Butte was particularly beautiful. We left around sunset, when light hit the scrubby tufts of weeds along the road and made them glow like haystacks on a Monet canvas. The setting sun put on a pretty spectacular show that night, touching billowing clouds with color against jagged mountains in the distance. By the time we arrived in Elephant Butte the darkened sky was lit by thousands of stars, and the stillness of the night made me feel like I'd somehow left the world behind.
About the "Blog"
Okay, this isn't really a blog since there are only a few entries, but each of these posts are short personal essays that I wrote to share with my family as Christmas presents. We have an annual tradition where every person in my extended family writes a short personal story that we photocopy and distribute to each family as a Christmas gift. We get a huge variety of memoirs each year, from the insightful to the hilarious to the spiritual, and this tradition has been a great tool in bringing us closer together. Each family also duplicates and distributes a two-page scrapbook spread with photos and journaling that summarize the year. If you're interested in learning more about this tradition so you can adopt it for your family, please read my mom's great 2011 story entitled Christmas Scrapbook Pages and Stories.
Though I've lightly edited the following experiences, they mostly appear as they did when I copied them off as gifts for my family. A Novel Experience is the most pertinent to this site since it describes the exhilarating process of writing Cupcake Girl, and gives background details about the book. A Summer Storm captures my inspiration for the first two chapters of the novel since it describes my real-life experience of getting caught in a storm at the Lake. The last one, People are more Important, describes one of those life-lessons I've struggled to learn, and references my background in writing (or lack thereof.) Maybe it also serves as my excuse for why I haven't made time to write my next novel. Someday . . .
A Novel Experience (2012)
Last spring at book-club, I casually told a friend the story I'd shared in my 2009 Christmas story about resisting the temptation to write a novel. I told her that over ten years ago I'd worked out the plots for three different novels in my mind. Mom had helped me realize that with three very young children, it wasn't the season of my life to write. I explained that since that time I'd lost all desire to write, so I was surprised when she contradicted me and very confidently stated that I would write a book someday. Her statement caught me off guard, and I internally argued that that ship had long since sailed.
A Summer Storm (2011)
This summer we spent three days with the Snellings at their 'Lakehouse' at Elephant Butte near Truth or Consequences, NM. While there we had lots of big milestones: Janie spoke her first full sentence, Anna waterskied for the first time, Ben and Dave both got up on slalom skies, and I waterskied for the first time since I was fifteen! We had beautiful weather on our first day until about 3:00 in the afternoon, when a huge bank of clouds rolled in and lightening started streaking the sky. I got incredibly nervous about being on the water, and encouraged everyone to head back to the house. No one else seemed nearly as worried as I was, but everyone reluctantly agreed to pack up when wind picked up and we started getting sand-blasted. I thought we were in for a gigantic storm, and was really surprised when the rain never came and things cleared up within an hour of returning to the house.
People Are More Important (2009)
One of the most important lessons I learned while at BYU didn't come from my excellent classes or professors, but from my sister Christine: "People are more important than your To-Do list." My To-Do list has always been ridiculously long—I've always wanted to do and learn more than is logistically possible. This made the transition from being a busy college student and first year teacher to being a stay-at-home mom rather difficult. Mom has spent many hours over many years helping me to evaluate my priorities and make sure that the most important people in my life, especially my children, were my top priority. I occasionally still struggle with applying this lesson, but our decision to have our sweet little daughters, Anna and Janie, have represented the miraculous way my heart has softened to recognize these precious children as being so much more important than any To-Do list.
Christmas Scrapbook Pages & Stories (by Karen Doxey 2011)
This year, 2011, marks the fifteenth anniversary of our Christmas scrapbook pages. That first Christmas there were 15 in our family; now there are 32. Even though our family has more than doubled, every year each family has contributed a scrapbook page. Thank you for creating these yearly records of your lives in photos and journaling. It's amazing to look through the pages, marking each family's milestones and achievements.