Today was Stake Conference.
Preparations began early.
A nice bikeride with the family to wear them out to take early naps.
While they were sleeping I prepped coloring pages, snacks, crayons (a special luxury saved only for Stake Conference), snacks, books, tape, sharpened pencils, four of everything as to avoid fighting, and anything else I could muster up that may occupy their little hands, feet, and brains for a few more moments.
Oh and I napped and got myself ready to go so I could be cheerful and done so all attention could go to children.
Early arrival at the church only to find that the session before us is still happening.
All members of our Stake with enough thought and foreplanning to arrive early (mainly those with children to avoid the wildness of sitting in the gym) were crammed into the foyers, hearts palpetating all awaiting the moment when they could rush for the empty seats in the front.
It was like being at the opening of Last Chance on Doc Marten Day (have to have experienced that).
The doors opened and I quickly scanned to see if there was any chance of getting the pews...no such luck so I headed directly for the folding chairs in the overflow squished against the wall but still on carpet and somewhat protected from open ends that act as a child launching pad out to the isles,the foyer and then the front doors.
Purse down, church bag (aka bag of tricks)--phew saved. I sit and watch the chaos around me...all to the rythym of the prelude music..as I have loved you...man waves arms frantically for wife who is ushering in her five children and looking for a place to sit...love one another...child crying because they have been tripped by trampling mother desparately searching for that coveted pew seat...by this shall men know...small fight breaks out over who's purse was on the seat first...ye are my disciples.
This is Stake Conference.
So now we have the seats and they have gone undisputed. Only 30 minutes until it starts.
Orange peeled and eaten in a classroom.
Bathroom, one last time because, "WE ARE NOT GETTING UP TO GO TO THE BATHROOM DURING CHURCH."
Return to find a video camera perched next to our seats on a tripod. The guy setting it up looks and me and says, "make sure they don't bump this."
Funny, funny, little man.
So far so good.
Sustainings, always good cause they get to raise their hands.
They opposed every leader in our Stake.
Speaker...temple blah blah blah.
15 minutes into meeting.
Bag of tricks empty.
crayons, tape, prepped coloring pages, once sharpened pencils are now dull, books.
Wait. How did this happen?
I was going to ration activities--no such luck.
I will save snacks for after the intermediate hymn.
Speaker...youth something or other.
Speaker...member...missionary, god's army..
*Pew contention. (or folding chair contention as the case may be)
Arms waving, legs kicking, stern looks here, stern looks there, the sit and turn around finger guesture (you know what I am talking about).
I am sweating.
Speaker...more about missionary work
Where the sam diggity is the intermediate hymn!!!!!??????
1 hour 20 minutes into the meeting
All standing for intermediate hymn...ahhh a moment that is louder than my son practically shouting, "can I stand on the seat? can I stand on the seat?"
Are you freaking kidding me...hymn number 135...go ahead look it up...three verses two lines each. The opening prayer is a freaking sermon and THIS is what we get to intermediate!
1 hour 20 minutes and 30 seconds into the meeting
Bust out the snacks.
One at a time.
Speaker...General Authority...something about how the children that Jesus taught were probably not quiet either.
HE must have seen,
he just winked at me,
yes he has been watching.
Well there goes any chance of me ever being General RS President (my ultimate goal afterall ;) )
crackers then dum dums.
Dum dum's are mannah from heaven
1 hour 45 minutes into the meeting
sticky sticks stuck to my skirt and bored children
This is usually the most potent and powerful part of a person's speech but all I am thinking is, "please sit down, please sit down, please sit down."
Five till the hour...he sat down.
I quietly announce to my children that it is time to clean up and sing!
Closing hymn...Families Can Be TOGETHER FOREVER...heavenly reward? or funny funny joke...Heavenly Father has to have a sense of humor...sung with clenched teeth as I will the chorister to wave her arm a little bit faster.
Children climbing on me, poking me, playing with my hair, pulling on my jewelry,whining to me...
Lessons learned: go to temple more, do more missionary work, loud children are normal
* pew contention is the state of contention found within a pew when the spirit is all around in surrounding pews.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Today was Stake Conference.