|Watch the talk this quote comes from here.|
One of our favorite weekends has come again. We spent part of Saturday morning cleaning, moving things to the attic, and preparing food. Then the sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir began streaming from the television and we gathered as a family in the living room for General Conference.
I'll be honest, it is never completely quiet - I do have nine children after all. We listen, some people take notes, others build with legos or draw while listening. In years past we have used a variety of things to help children of all ages to stay relatively quiet for each 2 hour session of General Conference. We have done printed activity pages, notebooks and colored pens, activity stations that include playdoh, and so on. It used to take a lot of effort to prepare for conference.
In recent years our preparations have become simpler. We gather in the living room together and I remind everyone that they are welcome to stay if they can be mostly quiet, or they are welcome to go upstairs to play. However, the rule is that you only get to eat the General Conference candy when it is passed around if you are in the living room with us watching conference. If you are upstairs we won't be calling you down for candy. And candy gets passed around at random times - you never know when mom or dad will decide it's time.
It works surprisingly well. We have watched General Conference as a family for years and even with little ones they quickly become happy to join in. Right now the kids are 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 15. During the two sessions on Saturday (4 hours total) only the 3 and 6 year old wandered off for a bit to play upstairs, missing a round of candy. They soon returned and stayed for the rest of the time.
Another thing that helps - we live in a time zone where meals fall during each session of Conference. The morning session starts at noon (lunch time) and the afternoon session goes from 4pm-6pm and we have dinner at 5pm in the middle. General Conference is the only time of year when we eat in the living room for our meals, picnicking on the floor.
The talks were inspiring. I love hearing stories, thinking about things in different ways, and seeing what captures each of my children's attention.
Sunday's morning session had some of my absolute favorite talks of this conference. I can't wait to study them! If you are looking for one to start with check out this one, or this one, or this one. During this session the kids were a little bit louder than yesterday, not unusual for hours 5 and 6 of conference. They still listened, laughed, asked questions, and felt the spirit.
Sunday's afternoon session saw a return of quiet listening. I think the kids were simply worn out! By the end of the weekend I had 14 pages of notes - and I know there is so much more studying to do. The videos are already available to rewatch online and within the week each talk will also be linked in written and audio form.
We keep food simple for General Conference. Lunch each day was lunchmeat subs that you could heat up in the oven if desired, with chips, fruit, and veggies. Dinner on Saturday was pizza. Sunday dinner was homemade cinnamon rolls with your choice of cream cheese, chocolate, or lime frosting.