I am the first person to say that my home is very often not the oasis of serenity that I wish it were. Quite often, daily in fact, I raise my hands in exasperation and silently wish to be transported to the famed peaceful river, or maybe an abandoned beach in Hawaii, or just anywhere where there are not screaming kids. Which totally rules out Disneyland, I am aware. And I am actually okay with that. It may be the happiest place on earth, but it certainly has never claimed to be the most peaceful.
This last weekend, though, was one of the most calm and peaceful and serene times in the history of the Neves household. While much of the credit obviously goes to General Conference and the uplifting and edifying messages from our Church leaders, I am thinking that I, the mother, get a large portion of that credit, too.
Usually, I am gone to work Saturday mornings. It was a stroke of luck that everything needed to cancel this week, and I was able to be home for the first session. That alone made a huge difference in the way Conference started out for me. Instead of rushing home from St. George, barely in time to catch the second session, after having been in vocal problem listening mode, I actually got to start out in spiritual listening mode.
I usually print the Conference activity sheets and such for my kids to do during each session, but they often get bored and cranky about it. This time was different. I don't know if it was the fact that the packet my friend emailed me was 30 pages long, or if it was just a new level of maturity on their part, but they all 3 stayed quiet and reverent for each session of conference. Even Sophie enjoyed quietly coloring at the kitchen table with Chloe. Bria, on the other hand, really loved doing the activity sheets where you had to listen for certain words to be said, or the one that you fill in the names of the apostles.
On Sunday morning, I got up super early to make cinnamon rolls. I know it's practically a requirement to have the conference cinnamon roll tradition if you want to keep your temple recommend, but I have never done it before, except once when Bria was a baby. You all know how much I like to cook and everything. I always appreciated my mom doing this, though, so I called her on Saturday night for her amazing recipe. While I guess I didn't get up early enough to have them out of the oven by the time the first session started, we were eating fabulous rolls by the rest hymn.
How did that contribute to peace, you ask? I'm not really sure, but I feel like it did. My getting up early, instead of rolling out of bed just in time to turn on the TV (okay, so it was only like that when we lived in Arizona and it started at 9:00 instead) again made me more prepared, and when Mom is peaceful, everyone is peaceful. When Mom has her spiritual ears on, maybe the kids do, too. I'm sure the anticipation of yummy food didn't hurt the girls' incentive to be good, either.
For the last session of the weekend, I listened as I cut out the pieces for Bria's Halloween costume. Sophie was asleep for this session, and Bria and Chloe were totally enthralled in the pinning and cutting of pattern pieces. Yet another thing to give them incentive to be reverent. They quietly helped me take out pins and fold fabric pieces for nearly the entire session.
No fighting, no arguing, no yelling or playing loud games.
It was just lovely. I can hardly wait six months to experience it again.