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Friday, September 30, 2011

ideas for general conference

I have been so cranky lately. I have a lot on my plate at the moment (though that will eventually pass, I know), Ella's transition into Kindergarten has not been as easy as we'd hoped, I'm being released from serving on the RS Board which I've loved, and I cleaned out the food storage room awhile back and am totally avoiding organizing that part of my life. Mostly, I think I just need some direction.

I've been reading Daughters in my Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society with the sisters in my ward. I'm having a hard time getting past the preface, because I keep re-reading parts. I know, that's good. I've been particularly pondering this quote by Belle S. Spafford:
"The average woman today, I believe, would do well to appraise her interests, evaluate the activities in which she is engaged, and then take steps to simplify her life, putting things of first importance first, placing emphasis where the rewards will be greatest and most enduring, and ridding herself of the less rewarding activities."
I think it's time to re-evaluate again. As with everything else in life, it's a process. I've felt a bit off balance lately. I thought I knew what I'd be doing next, but I was wrong. Which means there are most likely even greater blessings in store. I'm just not very good at waiting sometimes.

So I'm really looking forward to General Conference this weekend. I'm headin' in with some questions.

And because Miss Ella stays completely focused on each and every speaker all four sessions...ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! and ha! Yes, it's a rare photo.

What you don't see is this. Elles gets to eat those marshmallows when she gets a bingo and she LOVES marshmallows. I even caught her during the prayer very carefully placing those little bunnies on squares so no one would hear her moving. :) Her primary teacher brought her a little packet of goodies and this was part of it. It also had a notebook with the temple on it and a new pen. I can't remember the rest, but Ella loved it.

My friend, Jen, told me about the conference packets on SugarDoodle. They make one for each conference and they're great. Jen makes a conference binder for each of her kids and I thought it was such a great idea I did the same thing for E. The activities kept Elles busy for a long time. I love the First Presidency as toilet paper roll puppets, and even better with their "pets." I wonder if their wives print out these things and keep them in a scrapbook as part of their family history? I would if my husband showed up as an illustration--or toilet paper person. :)

Another thing Jen does with her kiddos is "conference cash." The kids can earn it by working hard, doing chores and  for good behavior before conference and by completing pages from their conference packets and binder during conference. Jen sets up a store--special goodies, dollar store toys, etc.--where her little consumers can spend their cash. They LOVE it!

I found this Conference Squares game on lds.org. I printed one out for Patrick too. He and Elles are very competitive, even though there's a 23 year age difference. Yep, it's true! :)

We also have special "conference cookies" during the afternoon sessions on Saturday and Sunday. No special recipe, completely store-bought. So what makes them special? I don't normally buy store-bought cookies. We prefer homemade any day. But Ella looks forward to them. This package pretty much covers the three of us: I like the Nutter Butters, Lynn loves Chips Ahoy!, and Ella prefers the Oreos. 

I used to diligently take notes during each conference address. I think it helped me focus better. Patrick once asked me why I had little hearts throughout my notes. I explained they were thoughts, feelings and inspiration that came to me during conference or scriptures I specifically wanted to ponder or read again. Knowing I'll soon have each address in print I now just jot down the inspiration so my hand doesn't get so tired. :) I also do this during Education Week and come away with pages of inspiration. It's the part I love most.

Lynn and Patrick look forward to the Priesthood Session of conference on Saturday evening. They go to dinner beforehand and Patrick's best friend and his father, along with our long-time friend and home teacher, Ron, join them. Ella and I have "girl time."

I love the simple things and traditions that make the weekend so enjoyable for all of us.

Have a great weekend.

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