Monday, April 04, 2011

General Conference With Little Ones - Review

This evening I get to take a minute while the photos upload to think about this LDS General Conference weekend. I took enough time this month to plan ahead. That made all the difference. Leif and I were able to get enough out of the different talks to make the efforts that we put in to the occasion worth it. I'll share what we did and my thoughts:

HERE is where you can read about our General Conference plans.

Click HERE for Photos

Conference Tent: We set up our actual camping tent this year. And though it seems extreme, when you have little boys boundaries are a very helpful tool. Jakob (6) was able to sit and listen through both sessions of Saturday's conference. Caleb (almost 3) handled things well for his active little self. He stayed in the tent for the first session of Saturday and napped through the second. The BEST help for Caleb was an idea that I actually came up with myself (I'm happy to say this because I "stole" all of the other ideas from .:) I got a poster board for each of the boys, brought out all of the Friend magazines, a pair of scissors, and glue. Caleb enjoyed trying to cut (with a lot of help) and then gluing the pictures on (mostly backwards.) But the key was that he was focused on something and we were able to listen to the speakers. Jakob actually ended up doodling in a notebook for the huge majority of conference. He finally worked on his poster the last session of Sunday conference when we opened the tent door and let them spread their posters out into the kitchen. Before going to bed Saturday night (after setting up the tent) we read about King Benjamin in The Book of Mormon. Jakob perked up right away as we read about the people facing their tents toward the temple to hear King Benjamin speak. Leif and I smiled as Jakob said, "Hey, this was a great chapter to read tonight!:)" Yes, indeed!

Conference Baggies: These will definitely be a must in the conferences to come!! I printed off pictures of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency. I taped their photo to a gallon size ziplock bag. In each bag I put a snack or a fun surprise. I did better this year with cutting back on the sweets. But I actually think I will cut back even more next time. I think I will put sweets in the First Presidency  baggies and fruits, veggies, and trinkets in the others. This year we enjoyed: Strawberries and cool whip, veggie platter and ranch, sliced oranges, two different Chex mix, modeling clay, markers, dried fruit, etc. Having the snacks in the bags helped spread things out and it helped Jakob pay attention to who was speaking. There was a space under each photo to write what they spoke about. During the less hectic moments we were able to recap and fill in those lines.  Over all I think we all got something out of the conference.

Conference Packets: I printed out a few pages from the many AMAZING conference packets available to us through the internet. But my boys don't actually use them as much as I would like them to. They did doodle on each page a bit and do an activity here and there. So I think I will keep trying, but really they just like to draw and create on their own. When Jakob is 8 years old we will encourage him to stick to the topics being spoken at the moment (meaning he will need to REALLY listen.;) So the packets will be helpful at that point.

What We Will Take Away:
As Leif and I were "taking down camp." we had a moment to discuss our "ah-ha" moments. Leif said that he felt like he was experiencing Elder Bednar's "Sunrise Theory" where the spirit whispered to him slowly but surely. And in the end he felt strongly compelled to serve more diligently. To MAKE the time to give service. I had a few concerns and thoughts rolling around in my soul that were calmed and validated especially by the talks given by Elders' Nelson, Oaks, Uchtdorf, and Bednar. In the end, I was reminded that we must act upon our faith. Faith is a Hope for things that are unseen (or unknown.) We must have faith to make good choices and Father will bless us as we do.

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