Conference and a PBJ

How in the holy snowballs did people with little kids ever make it through Conference before modern technology? Just thinking of what the last two days would have been like makes me clammy and pale. I love Conference, and look forward to it each season- Conference renews my faith and makes me love our GA's, and always inspires me to be a better person, wife and mother. But I think the fact that I get to watch it at home, in my jammies, while my kids do puzzles on the floor and eat peanut butter toast, is a big part of why I get so much out of it. Imagining the last two days spent at the stake center, rather than at home in our jammies, paints a whole different picture... and it's an ugly one! The idea of taking a two-year old, four-year old, reluctant husband and a gigantic pregnant belly, and sitting quietly and reverently in the pews, or more likely, the folding chairs in the back, for 8-10 hours of church over the weekend makes me want to run screaming for the hills. People must have done it, but to me it's kind of like the pioneer experiences- glad it's not me, I would probably be dead. My kids can barely make it through Sacrament meeting- and that's with coloring books, stickers, fruit snacks and bribery- and usually a ticked-off parent out in the hallway. And I know it's not just my kids- we're all out walking the hallways, frazzled looks on our faces and sweaty brows from wrestling with a toddler while in Sunday dress, the sweat making our hair frizz out and our make-up run, and wondering why we are here at all. So, I for one, am deeply and eternally grateful for satellite television. Sweet television that allows me to hear the precious words of our Prophet and his sage counselors, the talks that are directed especially at me from Apostles that I love, and the occasional odd talk that makes me go "huh?" and lets me mute the sound. Because of modern technology, I can be a full functioning member of this Church- rather the crazy mama in the back who can't control her kids and runs screaming into the garden each spring and fall as Conference approaches.


Blogger Tigersue said...

Our Stake Priesident, the past few years, has challenged us to dress in our Sunday best for conference. Even though we are home, it brings a whole new aspect of reverence to the viewing of the messages, to dress as if we were there. He has also invited us to attend at least one meeting in the Stake Center. I have been so grateful for his words of wisdom and counsel, because I have noticed a difference in the past. When we have not done it, I don't get out of the meetings what I really should. I would suggest anyone to try it next time, and see how they feel.

4/02/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Anonymous lammyann said...

I remember the days of dragging my 5 kids and husband to the church, sitting through sessions wrestling children to keep quiet so as not to disturb those around us, not getting much out of it except hearing a tidbit here and there and the music. I still enjoyed the spirit that buoyed me up... regardless of what I could hear. I remember on conference I was having to miss when my family was sick, my sister told me how to find it on the internet...and from that moment on, we have stayed home, and listened. Now we have sattelite and we watched the entire 2 days.
I FINALLY could enjoy the entire weekend of conference! We have gotten so much more out of it, and have had quite wonderful family discussions because of it! It has led to a whole celebration party at our house.

4/02/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger whatserbucket said...

Amen, Tracy. The only thing I might add to your list of eternal gratitudes is the eternal gratitude I have for TiVo for letting me rewind a talk so I can hear the part I missed while I was changing a diaper or pause the whole thing while I'm feeding someone.
Tigersue, while I admire your obedience and can appreciate the sentiment of dressing up for the occasion, there is no way I am going to wear pantyhose in my living room. (Okay I don't wear them to church, either.) All I'm saying is that if dressing down (read:pj's) twice a year is the cog in the wheel of my salvation I think I'm doing better than I thought. Unless I'm mistaken (and I'm sure I will catch hell for this), the garb Jesus has on in all the pictures isn't too fancy. In fact, it looks a lot like my favorite bathrobe.
In my prayers tonight: ...thank thee for the technology that brings conference to my house, thank thee for comfy pajamas and peanut butter...

4/02/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

Tigersue, I too admire your dedication, and maybe when my kids are older I'll get a little better where you're coming from, but for now...

If I am fighting with my kids and stressing about their behavior, I am not getting anything from the GA's- whereas at home, they are content and happy, in the room- albeit not necessarily listening- but hopefully soaking up something by osmosis- and I am able to pay attention and listen as I should.

Oh, and pantyhose? Nope, me neither!

4/02/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

Tigersue, you are an awesome, obedient woman and my hat's off to you. Not having had cable or internet for a long time, we've either missed conference entirely or attended one session at our stake center - all our family could handle. Last time, knowing the ruckus we'd cause in the chapel, we opted for the nursery. The seven of us were stuck in there with two other families (one with a sadistic 3-year-old, the other with a kid that puked all over the floor). Never again.

This weekend, we watched it at home for the first time in years and oh! the relief. The ever-so-awesome Friend magazine provided a fun activity for keeping our three Primary kids happy and (mostly) interested. We plan on making a new conference tradition of doing what we did this weekend: eating massive amounts of party food, so our kids will look forward to both kinds of feasting. :)

4/02/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

Conference at home is the best, best thing ever. I remeber as a child running around the cultural hall at our stake center while seeing an old man talk on a screen waaayy far away, and while I'm sure my parents listened, it meant nothing to me.

Also, rolling over in bed, flipping on the TV, and feeling righteous about it is awesome.

4/02/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger hairyshoefairy said...

Growing up, the Saturday of conference was the day we re-organized and re-arranged our home while listening to conference. Then on Sunday we watched it while enjoying our clean orderly home. As a kid and young adult I always looked forward to it. Doing those things helped me pay more attention, not less, surprisingly. It was much better than just sitting/sleeping through the entire conference. Our house was usually in need of serious deep cleaning again by then, too. Plus on Sunday the stuff they show between session is usually really interesting. Now, had I an apartment that was big enough to allow for more than one furniture arrangment situation I'd still be doing it. Instead I have taken to scrapbooking or deep cleaning my kitchen that Saturday while listening. It makes me feel uplifted and accomplished at the same time!

4/02/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cleaned my blinds yesterday while listening for the first time in...well, since another conference sometime in the past. :) I'm still gloating over how shiny and dust-free they are! :)

4/03/2006 01:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

As a kid, we actually had conference on tv in our house in California. I don't know if that was rare, but we loved it. Inevitably, we had cinnamon rolls and other goodies and sat and played with leggos while we listened to the talks. It seems like my parents worked harder to get us to pay attention to the Sunday sessions that Saturday, knowing that 2 full days of listening to the talks could get wearing for a house of 7 little and very active girls. When we moved to Oregon when I was in high school, there was no watching conference at home any more and we had to go to the church. Ug, not so exciting! But they usually had some kind of refreshments after each session. DH and I usually listen to conference at home now via the internet and it is great - we are comfy, dd is happy to play with us during the sessions, and we can talk about what we are listening to without worrying about being disruptive to others.

4/03/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

We take it pretty easy on Saturday, my husband and I watch and/or listen while the kids do whatever. Usually everyone ends up in the same room with us. On Sunday we usually dress up a little, skirt and blouse for me, slacks and nice shirt for my husband. Most of the older kids will do the same with out us saying a word. (we don't require it) The older ones listen and sometimes take notes. The younger ones play around us all. We usually buy special treats to have while we are watching. I admit I am glad that I don't have to go to the Stake Center because of my younger ones. I think being able to view all four daytime sessions at home is a great blessing to those with little ones. When my older kids were little we could only watch one session a day at home and had to go to the stake center if we wanted to see the others.

Tigersue, I think if I didn't have little ones it would be good to go for one session.

Side note-Last year my husband and I went to SLC and were able to attend one session in the conference center. It was great.

4/03/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Tigersue said...

"Tigersue, I too admire your dedication, and maybe when my kids are older I'll get a little better where you're coming from, but for now..."

Just so you all know, when we started doing this I had a 13 year old, a 10 year old, I was pregnant with my 3rd. Since then we have added one more making it now a soon to be 16 year old, a 12 year old, a 22 month old, and a 5 month old. No, I don't wear pantyhose, but yes it makes a huge difference in how we pay attention to the meeting. My children are much more attentive, and sit much quieter than if we were just wearing what ever we wanted. It invites a more reverent attitude in the home. Believe me I agree with the gratitude for technology in the home. I hated taking a baby to the church, I still haven't done that since we started this because sitting on hard chairs is not fun for a pregnant body. I never would have thought of doing this myself, if we hadn't been given this challenge.

4/03/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie J said...

DH and I watched Conference on the internet this weekend too. It was great! BYU TV had the on demand feature so it's like TiVo on your computer. We paused and rewinded parts that we missed or just wanted to hear again. I know I got so much more out of conference than I would have had we been at the church building running after our 16 month old. Instead, she was happily asleep during the morning sessions and happily playing with us during the afternoon sessions. We never had conference in our home growing up, but I really think it's the best way to watch it.

4/03/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago when my children were small, I lived in "the mission field" and there was no cable TV or internet access to conference, we would only go to one session of conference - usually Sunday afternoon, depending on what time zone we were in. I felt absolutely no guilt about that, knowing that I could read the other conference addresses soon, and that I would have plenty of time later (i.e. NOW) to enjoy conference without little ones to worry about (or being so pregnant I couldn't sit myself for more than a few minutes at a time - I have 3 October/early November babies).

We moved to SE Idaho in the early 90's and listened to conference on the radio (didn't have TV in our home then) and always had a special treat and pulled out all the legos to make a mega-structure.

My youngest are 15 and 17 now. We still like to have a special treat. We made doughnuts between the sessions yesterday. We listen on the internet because we don't have cable (and no longer live where it's broadcast on the radio). It's wonderful - a marvelous family tradition - and something I hope my children remember about my home all their lives.

4/03/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...


Yes! That is exactly what we did this weekend, but organizing took over and we went into Sunday with the less physical work, like filing papers. But I listened so much better --and my 3 kids (under the age of 5) would actually ask me questions like "what does salvation mean?" and my 4 yr. old had a paper she got at Primary where she would have to listen to the subjects of the talks and then that subject would match a color and she could color the conference picture with that particular color. It was brilliant!

Anyways, I agree. Conference is wonderful and best taken in when our family is together, nobody calls us, and we can be in our pajamas for two days. I LOVE Conference weekend! Here's to family togetherness!

4/03/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

We have tried it both ways because I was raised in a home where my parents had us wear sunday clothes to watch conference and to tell you the truth it hasn't made any difference in the reverence of my children---They just wreck their Sunday clothes instead of their everyday clothes. I personally wear dresses for the Sunday session (no nylons) but I let my children do what they feel is best and that has worked out good.

4/12/2006 12:22:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home