Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Cups Are Full

When a major spill occurs at nearly every meal (and often in between), it is hard to decide during typical daily life if our cups are half-full or half-empty. But after General Conference weekend (first weekend in Oct. and April), we don’t have to worry about that decision…our cups are all FULL.

Perhaps our cups filled up again because for the last 6 years, we have had the tradition of “pitching our tents” on Friday night as a fun introduction to listening to inspiring leaders during Conference Weekend. Tents are magical for kids…When I was playing in the tent with Allison Saturday morning, she kept saying, “Let’s stay in here forever!” And she really meant it.

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Or perhaps we’re overflowing because we opened up the hide-a-bed and crowded around the TV together and watched a whole 8 hours of inspirational speakers in one weekend (which is about how many hours the TV is normally on for an entire month at our house). Brent and I soaked up as many words as we could hear (over the arguments of “She’s in my spot!”/ “He touched me!”). Here are two talks that especially filled me up…about using time wisely and caring for children.

Or maybe we’re full because the kids enjoyed searching for Auntie Karen in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (She’s not really in the choir, but a few years ago one of the kids thought for sure he spotted her, so yet another Conference tradition was born. Now we’ve expanded the search…we found Papa, Aunt Debbie, our Bishop, and Kirsti’s first grade teacher this year. And Grandma was playing the organ in the last session!) It’s quite entertaining to hear Cienna’s enthusiastic, believing voice proclaim, “There’s Auntie Karen!” repeated at least 100 hundred times.

The General Conference activity packet that we printed Saturday morning filled some cups, too…especially the younger cups. Their young minds were engaged in doing word searches, playing bingo and coloring the ties of the speakers they saw on TV as they listened to church leaders speak about very grown-up topics. (Kenny, however, proclaimed quite early on, “I don’t think I’ll need this next time…Because I just like listening.” And he did listen…to all four 2-hr sessions. And FYI: he also wants to be called “Ken” now.)

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Allison predicted that everyone would be wearing orange or blue ties within the first five minutes of the first session.

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Diggy’s favorite is the Bingo game. He doesn’t let any key words slip by undetected. In fact, he finished in record time this Conference, thus freeing his mind all day Sunday to think of more creative ways to enjoy listening…as a Nephite (more on this later).

I think cups were filled when Brent pretended to be the Big Bad Wolf blowing the house down as he was putting the tent away Saturday afternoon. The little pigs happily squealed inside (except for Cienna who chose to stay away from the Big Bad Wolf, so her cup wouldn’t run dry).

General Conference Oct 2010 043 Do you see the hand sticking out of there? Proof that the Four Little Pigs didn’t make it to the House Made of Bricks before the Big Bad Wolf blew their flimsy house down this time.

Perhaps we’re full now because we made cinnamon rolls on Saturday night and enjoyed them alongside the family-favorite Orange Julius treat on Sunday morning.

General Conference Oct 2010 050We can pretend to get exhausted toiling in the kitchen together, but the flour on our faces actually filled us up some more. General Conference Oct 2010 056 General Conference Oct 2010 057 General Conference Oct 2010 059

Some of the kids even filled their cups by making giant cushion thrones to sit on or by throwing arrows with suction cups at the TV (apparently pretending to be a Nephite aiming for Samuel the Lamanite…and purposely missing).

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Last week when we told the kids Conference Weekend was coming again, there was a unanimous shout for joy.

And regardless of how everyone in the family filled their cups up this weekend, one thing is certain: We had a great weekend together, and we’re ALL more ready to face the world this week because of it.

I LOVE listening to church leaders speak about inspiring topics, and particularly about faith in Christ. If I can teach anything to my children before they go out into the world some day, I hope I can teach them and show them that Christ is the only TRUE source of filling our cups.

I think tents, cinnamon rolls, and coloring pages at Conference-time will all have their place in connecting our children to Christ.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh how I loved reading this! You've filled my cup sharing your family traditions and joy for Conference. The tent is such a darling idea, and the Choir searching is hysterical! :) This post makes me long for the days when my children were younger. I wish I could go back and implement some of your wonderful ideas. Keep up the great work, and keep the faith!
Love, MoSop

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