Saturday, March 31, 2012

General Conference: a Paradigm Shift

T-2.0 hours until General Conference begins on this Saturday morning.

My house is still a mess.  I have not printed out the oodles of worksheets I had planned on preparing for the kids, and I have no idea what my General Conference stations will be, although I have plenty of activities prepared, so I know that everything will come together.

It's been quite the week.

And I have experienced a few paradigm shifts in a few different areas of my life this week that I think will be very helpful for me moving forward.

One came last night as I was falling asleep.

I made the comment in my post about General Conference Stations that one of the stations would be a note-taking station where the child gets to sit with Mom and Dad and we help them write down what the speaker is sharing.  I was thinking about how important that would be.  And I realized that my old attitude to "keep the children quiet at all cost so the rest of us can enjoy and hear conference" was not exactly the most helpful approach.

Since I've been holding General Conference Book Club in my home for a full year now, I have truly been enriched by studying the words of the prophet on a weekly and daily basis.  

As I thought about this, it dawned on me that my time during live General Conference viewing could be much more effective if my attitude changed to one of "being hands-on with my children, modeling how to be an active listener, and helping them to record their own thoughts on what they are hearing."  

If I miss hearing something during General Conference the first time around, I've got six whole months to relearn it.  It's not my one and only chance to receive revelation, but I often treat it that way.  And I don't want my kids remembering that "General Conference is a time when Mom wants me to SHUSH!!" (And she gets irritated when I don't!)

I remember doing a lot of "shhhhh-ing" to my kids last fall.  This time around, I want to do a lot of snuggling, hugging, holding and instructing as we partake of the words of the prophet.

Maybe this paradigm shift comes from the comforting knowledge that we now have DVR and can "roll it back" if we miss a line, but I know this is also revelation given to me to help me be a better mother to my kids.  And I am thankful for it.

Last night I decided that I'd use the photos of the General Authorities that my SIL sent as part of her Fantasy General Conference Bracket to help the children create their own General Conference journals.  

I remembered that I had purchased some writing notebooks from "Handwriting Without Tears" that would be perfect for the kids to use as Conference notebooks.  (Especially since these are the same things my kids use in Kindergarten and Preschool.) 

They can either draw a picture of the speaker or find his or her photo and cut and paste it into the top section of their notebooks.  In the lines, they can write down what they think the speaker is trying to communicate to them.

We've also updated our General Conference Wall.  It's growing up with us, you know.  I've added post-it labels with words the children can write down in their journals whenever they hear that word mentioned.  That way they can work more independently.  They will also tally how many times the topics are discussed on the post-its.  (Guy cried when I broke the news to him that there would not be candy handed out every time a topic is mentioned 5 times...but I think he'll get over it.)

Guy already found his notebook this morning and is all gung-ho about recording his thoughts.  On the front page he wrote, "My favorite prophet is Thomas S. Monson....I like prophets because they help us."  And for his first story inside of his notebook, he wrote "his version" of what happened before we came to earth.

Pretty sweet, huh?  I think today is going to be a lot of fun!

PS - Scarlett has decided that stations 3 & 4 are under her jurisdiction and that she is going to make them "the most important stations ever."  She has determined that station #3 she will be helping the other children make "hand turkeys" and station #4 is dry-erase board drawing.  Oh and I did manage to get a few things printed out between the time I started this post and now...And Steve has just made a Subway run, so my work here is done (with 30 minutes to spare...whew!)

Enjoy Conference!


  1. This post is brilliant. Thank you for sharing. I am looooving conference :)

  2. My husband shared a similar thought with me last night. I was stressing about how to get the most out of Conference for ME by keeping Paul QUIET (and maybe even reverent) and he so wisely shared that Paul will get the most out of General Conference by us talking with him and sharing with him what the prophets are saying and what it means for us. So glad I married a wise man. :)

  3. I had that same revelation during the session this morning. After hushing the kids and thinking "Man, I'm missing almost all of conference, I'm going to have to listen to them later!" I remembered that I DO listen to them later... so I'll be just fine, and the important thing is that I help my kiddos learn to love General Conference (and they won't if I am being a grouch to them the whole time!)

  4. Way to go hubby! :)  I guess we are all "shifting" together...that's a good thing.  My living room is still trashed, but we did have a nice session together! :)

  5. All good stuff.  Look how one woman I know takes notes on General Conference: 

  6.  I think I want to do that conference wall for next time.  I wasn't organized enough this time.  Good ideas though, thanks

  7. Aloha!  I am so happy I "stumbled" across your wonderful blog as I'm preparing my YW lesson.  I love your G.C. wall.  That is my husband and I in the 'Eternal marriage' picture taken almost 16 years ago!  We have been blessed with 4 handsome sons over the years!  Thank you for your blog...I look forward to reading more! ~Kristen Kennerley

  8. Hi Kristen!  You are KIDDING ME!  What's really funny about that is that when I put that photo up (a photo that is so familiar to all of us!) I thought...I wonder who these people are in this picture...where are they now?  And here you are commenting on my blog.  So happy to meet you.  And I love your dress in that picture.  Modest and beautiful!  I'd love to learn more about you and your family! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  9. I really like your attitude. I was surprised to see HWOT on your page. I thought that was just a homeschool thing, but I guess it makes sense that schools would use their products too. Thanks for your perspective. I really like the idea of helping my children take notes.

    1. You are so sweet. Thank you for your comments....I want to see a gen conf post from you now!

    2. You are so sweet. Thank you for your comments....I want to see a gen conf post from you now!