Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Conference Weekend

Last weekend was General Conference. It was nice to have a change from the usual Sunday routine and busy-ness and to get a chance to listen first-hand to messages from our church leaders. As a kid I remember going to one of the Saturday sessions and then going to Winchell's donuts (before the days when you could watch it at home on TV). When Dave and I were first married, conference was one of my favorite times of the year. We would often get the chance to go in person and despite it being 8 hours of meetings over two days, I loved the chance to listen to the talks and music, to focus on spiritual things, to evaluate where I want my life to be going over the next six months and enjoy the family dinners that always capped off Conference weekend.

Not to say that I don't still love Conference, but having children and moving away from family has made it a little bit of a different experience. We live in a different state from both sets of parents, so family dinners have gone by the wayside, and we rarely- if ever- get the chance to go in person, but despite the changes I've tried to create traditions for my kids so it will be a special time for them.

I know there are lots of people like Lara who make homemade cinnamon rolls for conference. That has always sounded like a great tradition, but we have ended up with Monkey Bread as our morning conference treat (refrigerated biscuits with cinnamon sugar and melted butter/brown sugar... much easier for the mom/cook). I always print out a packet with conference-related activities from the internet for the kids. And the kids really do look forward to conference... but I think it's mostly about the Monkey Bread.

It's nice to be able to have a weekend home together, but trying to use conference as an opportunity to focus on the spiritual is much more challenging with kids. Usually the kids start out doing their coloring and puzzles and then phase into some more active pursuit (probably because of the Monkey Bread sugar rush) like tag or wrestling. On Saturday afternoon, I was trying to watch the session and actually comprehend some of what the speaker was saying over the noise and din of the kids playing. They had long since passed the phase where I still attempted to have them sit still and do quiet activities and were having full out wrestling matches, tossing toys across the room and running like... hyper sugar-charged monkeys (anything to do with the Monkey Bread?). I finally had had it, so I pressed pause on the TV and said, "Everyone DOWN TO THE BASEMENT!!! No more noise!! You can go play and be wild but go DOWNSTAIRS!"

Jared and Camryn paused for a moment and looked confused. "But Mom," Jared said, "we can't go downstairs. We'll miss conference!" ("Hmmm... I'm sure you're getting a lot out of it while you toss toys at each other and wrestle.") But hey, at least they wanted to "watch" it (as long as seeing it out of the corner of your eye while you pull your sister to the ground and chuck a pile of putty at the ceiling to see if it will stick is "watching" it). =] One step at a time, I guess.


Lara said...

I love it! Sunday afternoon we finally had enough and sent them upstairs to play for a while. They actually came back down 1/2 hour later all calm and watched the rest without too much issue.

Anonymous said...

Karen, I love your blog. If I had had children, I hope I would have had a daughter like you. Thank you so much for letting have a glimpse into your life. It makes up for not having have children, therefore grandchildren.