Sunday, October 04, 2015

Conference Mashup

Not going to lie: Saturday was a bit of a blur. 

The "morning" session for us falls over lunchtime. I fed the kids deceivingly nutritious snacks while we waited for the cinnamon buns Andrew made to finish cooking. I suppose the snacks truly were nutritious (cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, grapes, apple slices, and a peanut-butter/yogurt dip); the deception was that they were the appetizers for the cinnamon buns (which were fabulous, for the record).

Benjamin was completely obnoxious. Andrew and I took turns holding him down to keep him from tormenting his sisters. When we weren't trying reign in all his energy then we were holding Zoë who chose to scream the whole entire day. 

Was it cruel of us to try to force Benjamin to behave? Perhaps. But not really because he had a choice. He could have gone into his room to play and we would not have complained (believe me). He wanted to be where the action was, however, which meant that he couldn't just yell and throw things and punch babies and things like that. 

We're completely unreasonable as parents. I get that.

Zoë screamed the entire two-hour break between conference sessions. I was like, "Will you please do something?! Eat. Sleep. Poop. Just do something to explain the screaming!"

I snapped during Elder Holland's talk, which was beautiful in its own right, but I had just gotten Zoë settled and then Benjamin started acting like a clown again (he pinched her or yelled in her face or something) and she started screaming again and I snapped.

"Yeah, behold your mother!" I said, storming out of the living room.  "Behold your mother walk out of the room!"

Zoë and I took a little time out in the quiet (Benjamin-free) zone behind the locked bedroom door. After a few more minutes of screaming I managed to quiet Zoë down and get her to eat and then to sleep. But I was so upset that I was crying softly to myself while I coaxed her to sleep (keep in mind that Zoë had been screaming for hours by this point). It was comforting to hear Elder Holland's voice drifting through the doorway, "You're doing better than you think you are..."
Deep breaths. You've got this. I left Zoë asleep in her bed and walked out to enjoy the rest of conference. But then there was still Benjamin to contend with. 

At one point I pulled him onto my lap and he immediately started to climb off. 

"No, I want to hold you," I said.

"Why?" he whined.

"Because I love you," I said.

"You can still love me if I sit beside you," he said. 

He sat beside me for about .03 seconds before hopping off the couch to bop one of his sisters in the head with something. He was so entirely out of control.

Still, I rather enjoyed Elder Foster's talk on how to teach your children—it's never too late and it's never too early to start reaching out to them.

Andrew and I listened to priesthood session last night while we finished making applesauce and doing laundry. I guess with five hours of conference in one day it was a little ambitious to do five loads of laundry, three batches of applesauce, and one batch of dehydrated apples.

I got a lot more out of today than I did yesterday, that's for sure. Still, when we Skyped with my parents today they asked if Benjamin ever stands still and I answered, truthfully, that he didn't. But honestly, he was pretty good today. Like, today was so much better than yesterday. 

President Monson's talk was great, but President Nelson's talk was amazing. I listened to a talk he gave the October after he was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve a few days ago and I really enjoyed it. Listening to that talk affirmed to me that he is called of God and today's talk reaffirmed that for me. 

In October 1984 he said,
To those couples who bear and share that priesthood worthily and remain faithful to the law of the everlasting covenant of eternal marriage, enduring the congested years and trials of diapers and dishes, crowded kitchen and thin pocketbook, service in the Church, education and the burning of the midnight oil, the Lord makes this promise: “Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; … and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, … [and there] shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.” (D&C 132:19; italics added.)
In October 2015 he said,
My dear sisters, whatever your calling, whatever your circumstances, we need your impressions, your insights, and your inspiration. We need you to speak up and speak out in ward and stake councils. We need each married sister to speak as “a contributing and full partner” as you unite with your husband in governing your family. Married or single, you sisters possess distinctive capabilities and special intuition you have received as gifts from God. We brethren cannot duplicate your unique influence. … 
I love that he said that "couples...bear and share [the] priesthood." Wives are "full partners" with their husbands. And, basically, we are needed in councils and our voices should be heard.

I fully realize this is happening in some places but in other places it has yet to happen, but it's reassuring to know President Nelson has been up to bat for us [women], so to speak, since the very beginning of his time as an apostle.

I should probably also admit that I really enjoyed his 1984 talk because at the beginning of the talk he told a story about how he cut his power cord with his electric clippers and, uh, Andrew's totally done that before, so hearing President Nelson's talk made me laugh.

Elder Durant's talk during the afternoon session was so great. I have a testimony of memorizing scriptures. It has helped our family so much. We only choose twelve scriptures a year to memorize, but it's quite wonderful to always have a scripture on your mind and, as an added bonus, it helps our children pay attention at church. Hearing the scriptures they know be repeated over the pulpit is an anchor that draws their attention back to the reason we're there in the first place (not to colour or play, but to grow closer to and worship our Father in Heaven).

In fact, I can't tell you how many times Benjamin stopped goofing off to yell John 14:15 at the top of his lungs this weekend: "Is woo uvs me, keep mine 'mandments!" Anytime he heard the word "commandment" or "love" this was the first thing out of his mouth.

So, I loved the idea of "ponderizing" the scriptures. My beef, though, is two-fold: (1) You can't really form a portmanteau using a suffix as half the blended word. Why? Because that could be anything.

As I explained to the kids, it could be pondering and memorizing, but it could also be, say, pondering while exercising (which is how I studied the scriptures while I was battling gestational diabetes). Besides which "ponder" is a verb, and therefore does not need to be verbified (which is what the -ize suffix does to nouns and adjectives and things).

It's the same thing I have with the company name "Vivint." A blend of "vive" (to live) and "intelligent"? Not really, but nice try. You blended "vive" with the suffix -ent. So...your name could really mean anything.

Ponder + Memorize =  Ponderize kind of works, especially since he took time to drive the whole memorize concept home so many times. But really, it's just a suffix tacked onto the end of ponder and the whole meaning of "memorize" is lost. Which could be confusing for some people.

Like, for example, his son, who, when his dad said "ponderize" heard him say "monetize," which brings me to my second point. (2) The whole "" online store scandal. Opening a store on the sabbath is distasteful even if the proceeds are "going to the missionary fund" and they won't receive any money from sales. They didn't add that last part until people started voicing indignation (because, hello priestcraft). The whole thing is a little...fishy...and I don't like it one little bit.

But I do have a testimony that memorizing scriptures is a healthy thing to do spiritually.

Also, what was up with all the random stock photos? Woman eating salad? What?

Anyway, Sister Stephens talk was so great. She drew my children right in with her story about her granddaughter. The kids all enjoyed that talk and the one right before by Elder Keetch. Both spoke about how commandments are for our safety and are there because of love. I enjoyed them both as well. But I especially appreciated how Sister Stephens was able to reach my children with her voice.

Elder Aoyagi's talk about enduring through long-term challenges was also wonderful.

All that said, yesterday we asked the kids what their favourite part of conference was and Miriam said, "Ummm...the last talk of the last session!"

"Why? Because it was over?" Andrew accused.

"No! Because Mom played boxes with me!" she said.

I love General Conference but I was, in all honesty, glad to see it wrap up so that I can study the talks over the next couple of weeks and actually get to listen. Conference with little kids is...taxing.


  1. For some reason, Benjamin's craziness for your conf weekend makes me think of the "bop it" sketch Studio C just did... I think it's on youtube now. Pretty funny...

  2. Aylin has that one memorized as well and says it all the time and it is adorable. "John 14:15, If ye live me keep my mandments." I love it every time I hear her say it. I like the scripture memorization as well...I hated the word ponderize though. It made me want to bang my head on the door thinking of hearing it for the next five years. I likes Elder Nelsons talk to but I did mutter under my doesn't do any good to talk if no one listens. You know J took G to the interview and said, "hey I want to baptize her out of state." And the bishops was like, "sure, no problem." And I was like, "are you kidding me!!!!". I mean I'm glad to have what I want but I just can't get over how easy things are for J.

  3. Vivint actually takes the "int" from the beginning of the word intelligent. :) 👍

    1. M'yeah. Andrew pointed that out after I posted it but I was too lazy to go change it. The point still stands that Vivint is a prime example of terrible nomenclature.

      Live...anywho...point still stands that it's a failed attempt at a "good" name. But, yes, I grabbed the wrong part of the word. I also haven't slept for more than a two hour stretch in months, so...I forgive me. :)