When the kids came home from school on Friday they walked into the family room to find this… the Conference Wall. I found something on-line this week that sparked this idea and decided it would be fun to try. The kids were thrilled. They didn’t even know what it would be used for (I didn’t really either… in typical Lisa ‘making it up as I go’ fashion…) but they were excited nonetheless. Then they saw the Conference Basket.
- Conference packets printed out from Sugardoodle.net on brand new clip boards
- Prophet finger puppets for Megan
- New Boxes of Crayons – (25 cents from the Back to School sale)
- Apostle Bingo Boards
- Special treats for each session
- Cute homemade notebooks left over from my Young Women ‘pre-Conference party’
- General Authority flashcards
- Secret ‘Do not open until…’ envelopes with special activities to do before each session
They were allowed to look into the basket but couldn’t touch anything. Oh… the torture! “Mom, Thanks so much for celebrating Conference!” Emily said.
Our first ‘Do not open until…’ envelope contained small pictures of the first presidency, twelve apostles and the Primary, YW and Relief Society presidencies. Found on Sugardoodle.net. There was no Elder Neil L. Anderson picture so we had to write him in. Then we added two President Monson pictures and a ‘quorum of 70 speaker’ to complete the whole page. While we glued we reviewed the apostles names. I was amazed at how many they knew. “That’s President Eyring”, Megan yelled. (Our primary has been reviewing.) “Uchdorf is such a funny name” she giggled as she glued. After we finished our BINGO boards we taped them to wall. After every talk we circled the appropriate speaker. No BINGO’s yet!
When the first session started, (at noon for us) the kids were busy busy with their packets… writing down who was conducting, coloring the choir robes, noticing Apostles ties, writing the color of the flowers, copying down the name of the song. It was priceless to watch. We looked on the globe to find the new temples, circled the speaker on our Apostle Bingo boards and paused after each talk to tape their picture to our Conference Wall and write down some key words about what they spoke on.
The first session took us 2 hours and 43 minutes. No, not because we paused to go play outside. Ryan and Katie were taking such detailed notes that they wanted to ‘rewind’ so they could accurately copy the sentence. They filled up pages and pages of their notebooks with great notes. They did so well! Katie’s favorite talk was President Uchdorf’s. She said, “Mom, he’s just saying so many good things that I can’t write them all down.” She threw her pen down on the floor and looked frustrated. Just then President Uchdorf said, “Don’t be discouraged!” We all looked at her and repeated his statement to make her giggle. Saturday ‘morning’ session was fabulous. We loved it.
Our ‘don’t open until Saturday afternoon session’ envelope was a story from the May 2008 Friend about a Conference Reverence Tent. We read it together and then built a tent in the living room so they could pretend to be like the people listening to King Benjamin. Ryan was the only one that spent the entire second session in the tent although Luke visited him there quite often. We ate smarties. We sustained the Prophet. We wrote and wrote…
Sunday morning the kids transformed the ‘tent’ (dining room table pulled into the family room) back into a table and sat there for most of the session… the perfect place to spread out all their papers and crayons and take notes. Despite a small ‘meltdown’ from Emily because she colored the apostles tie the wrong color, it was a great session… especially since Luke and Matthew were taking a nap. We were once again 25 minutes behind ‘real time’ because of the kids detailed note-taking and they busted me for trying to fast forward through one of the songs. ‘Mom, those are really good songs.’ I know, I know. Sorry. Emily was the one to finally get the first BINGO on her apostle chart.