I have a love and fear relationship with General Conference weekend. I love hearing the beautiful words of my prophet and his apostles. The fear comes with knowing I have to survive 8 hours with my kids watching church. As a child we never sat down and watched conference on Saturday. It was just barely becoming available on tv. We usually it playing on the radio while we did chores and then when it did come on tv we would have that playing on the tv while we did chores. I really want to make sure my kids know this is important to me and for them, so we sit and watch. We get our chores done on Friday so that we are free to watch Saturday and Sunday. We have been trying to work on plans and ideas to help keep the kids quiet, but involved. The past few years we put together word jars. I get fun treats or snacks that we put in jars and each jar has a word (Jesus, prayers, scriptures, love, family, etc...). When the girls hear one of the words (if they are sitting) they can go get the matching treat. We also print of papers that have a speaker that is just a stick figure and they get to color in their ties/dress and give them faces and hair. It has lines where they can write or tell me words they hear. It usually works really well for 2-3 sessions and then they lose interest. It is always tricky getting them to sit still through them all. This time Peter was a bit tricky as he only naps during two of the sessions. But, the kids really did well. Sadly, Ada woke up Sunday with a TERRIBLE stiff neck. She spend most of Sunday just laying in my lap. The priesthood session is now on tv so Keith watches it here at the house. I want him to be able to really pay attention so I fed the kids and then took them to the park.
On of the talks that stood out to me the most was M. Russell Ballard Saturday afternoon about family councils. He talked about four different family councils families should hold. Everyone together should gather and council about problems and calendering. The next kind of council should be be counseling between parents. Parents need to meet together and talk through problems and solutions on a regular basis. The next would be parents together with one child and the last have one parent and one child councils. We want to be better about counseling with our children. I did not grow up with individual meets with my parents. I think that it would have really helped me. I am number 6 of 8 kids and honestly most of the time just felt lost in the chaos. There was never really time for me and I just had to accept that. I don't say this to say my parents were bad. They were not. They were amazing parents and we have a good relationship, but I think it could have been a better relationship growing up. As the world continues to spiral downward we want to make sure our kids know we have their back. I would have loved to spend one on one time with either of my parents and know that they had time for just me. Keith tries to take the girls on dates. I am with the kids all day, so it is very important for him to do this so that he can be apart of their lives. This talk really stuck out to me as something that I can handle and do. I feel very strongly about this and have a passion to implement this. We had our first "family council" on Sunday. We are going to have them every fast Sunday. We prayed, we talked over the events of the month and week. Then we talked about things we were struggling with. Keith and I shared how we are very frustrated with the girls about saying no to us and refusing to obey. We came up with a new game plan to try and help motive them. We have ribbons and they are trying to earn 10 clothes pins by the next week. We then asked the girls to share things that they don't like. The girls said they don't like when we yell (yes, I am guilty of yelling at times. I hate it, but feel that is sometimes the only time they hear me). It was great! I am so happy they shared. We apologized for yelling. We agreed that instead of yelling we would kneel down, hands on their cheek and look in their eyes while we quietly talk instead of yelling. The girls said this was good and they were happy with it. I loved it. We planned daddy dates for Rue and Ada. It was a success and I'm so happy. I've very grateful for an apostle who shared what my family needed. I love it! I'm so grateful for this wonderful, inspiring and inspired gospel. I love hearing the prophet speak and the apostles. I just feel loved and important.