This past weekend was General Conference. For those of you who may not know what General Conference is, here is brief description from lds.org: "General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During general conference weekend, Church members and others who are interested gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders." I feel very blessed that we are able to watch General Conference in our home--it's broadcast on KSL--mainly because it's a lot easier to wrangle Reed and Asher at our house, where they can still have their naps :)
Luckily, I can fit both boys on my lap at the same time.
I was so proud of the boys during the Saturday sessions. We had explained to Reed beforehand what Conference is and that we expected him to mostly play quietly and try to listen. He was great--I don't think he really listened, but he was quiet and entertained himself. Asher was a fabulous sleeper and, when awake, was super chill. I was excited to see President Samuelson speak--he's the President of BYU, so hearing his voice felt a little bit like going home. I was happy the boys were so well-behaved because I got to actually listen to the speakers.
Hanging out with Asher during Conference.
I knew Sunday was going to be rough for Reed since he already had four hours of conference under his belt. We started the day with a few fun activities to help get some of his energy and desire to play with Mommy and Daddy out--first, we had a picnic breakfast in our living room, then we played a few rousing rounds of Kerplunk! and Pop-o-Matic Trouble. And, Luckily, lds.org has some great resources for families with small children. I found activity pages here (we don't have a printer, and I didn't make it to my mom's house, so they didn't actually get printed out...) and great ideas for getting children involved in conference here.
There were two activities that Reed particularly liked. First, we got a picture of all the general authorities and taped it up by the TV. When each new speaker came up, we helped Reed find the picture that matched the speaker. The other activity he enjoyed was a game involving treats. We told him a few words to listen for ("temple," "family," and "Jesus Christ"). If he heard those words and told us, he got a little treat (mini chocolate chips). My favorite part of this game was that any time Reed paused long enough to listen to anything, he would ask for a treat. For example, he said, "Thomas S. Monson! Do I get a treat?" or "Conference! Do I get a treat?" My favorite was, "Do nothing! Do I get a treat?" (I think he missed the important part of that last one.) Reed got a little stir crazy, but was good overall. (I think it was quite beneficial that his nap coincided with the second session of Conference.
A little playtime is all it took to keep Asher happy.
My two favorite talks were President Monson's talk on Sunday morning about temples and Elder Robbins' talk on Sunday afternoon about the difference between doing and being. I always love to hear the Prophet speak--not only is he an excellent speaker, but he bears a powerful testimony that always touches me. Every time he speaks, I gain a stronger testimony that he is the living prophet. And his topic was significant for me because Ryan and I have really been trying to increase our temple attendance lately and to get more meaning out of our temple trips. And Elder Robbins' talk--particularly in reference to his discussion of disciplining our children following the pattern of the Savior--was something I definitely needed to hear. I feel like I have been running out of patience with Reed far too frequently lately, and my disciplining has definitely been sub-par. Elder Robbins' talk was good motivation to do better. I want to pattern my life more after the Savior's, and know that in so doing I will be a more effective mother. I am grateful for the leaders of the church, and for all the talks shared--my testimony of the gospel was strengthened and I feel refreshed spiritually.
All the talks from General Conference should be on lds.org by Friday--click here to link to them. I'm excited to go back and read them!