This has been my favorite Sunday in a long time. I loved General Conference. No fancy breakfast, just cold cereal and have a yucky cold, but it was just great. Maybe another year we will do fancy. We were able to listen okay, of course its wasn't perfect, but it was nice. The kids would stare at me when I cried. I painted the girls nails...paisley brushed my hair....ouch. Darby and Baylie colored lots of pictures. Luke brought his stuffed animals and blankets. Paisley was so cute and Ivy napped through most of it. We snuggled on the couch, ate fruit snacks and pretzels. They took turns playing with the lazor on the flashlight and shining it on the walls. The kids pointed out President Erying and Uchtdorf when they came on the TV and loved seeing President Monson. He was pretty funny this weekend. Love seeing that side of him.
After it was finished, Luke kept watching BYU TV and saw this documentary type about two brothers missions, one who served during the earthquake in Chile and another who was just getting his call to Cambodia and was a walk on for BYU football. It was good perspective for him to see good boys making good choices ...especially coming from two older boys and not his mother :) Oh I'm gonna miss that kid when he goes on his mission one day, but it will also be the happiest day of my life that he would be worthy and willing to leave for two years to serve the Lord.
Throughout the weekend I heard messages about treating the scriptures like friends, about putting scriptures to memory (my friend Tiffany who isn't LDS is soo good at that), about involving youth in family history, about using the full name of the church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints instead of just saying Mormon. About being more like Christ. Patriarchal Blessings were mentioned at least three times so I should go read mine. I'm already forgetting many things said so will have to reread and rewatch them again. I already know of two talks I missed.
But the two talks that I cried the most in were (because they touched me the most) Elder Neil Andersen's talk on parenthood and Elaine Dalton's talk about how to be a good father to daughters.
Bawled bawled bawled. Oh my goodness.
Sister Dalton's three sons became new fathers and each had a baby girl this year. Three new grand daughters this year like my mom, my aunt Pam, and my mother in law. Must be the year of girls!
Elder Andersen said quoting a blog from a Christian mother of five who isn't Mormon , "Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You don't collect children because they are cuter than stamps, you don't have them if you have time for them...it is what God gave you time for."
He told a story of a woman with seven kids who were getting on a bus. The bus driver asked her, "Are these all your children or are you going on a picnic?" She answered, "They are all mine and its no picnic!"
He spoke about Adam and Eve bearing their children, not in the Garden of Eden, but in their trials in the wilderness. About the birth of Moses and the birth of Jesus. Without decorated nursery or designer crib (or a baby showers I would add).
He talked about the enormous faith required to have children. How many and when are sacred decisions made between us and the Lord. He spoke of it being a sensitive subject and sometimes a heartbreaking one for those with unfulfilled family desires and not to judge each other. He spoke of a family who were able to adopt their babies when they older than most parents.
Sister Dalton talked about 'How do I raise a girl?" Sister Dalton said,"Love her mother."
"She will learn from your example what to expect in a future spouse....and never to settle for less." She spoke of how much girls look up to their father's and the role they play in a daughters life. Oh and I can see it in how much my girls love their daddy!
Sister Dalton said, "If in her teenage years she will not come home from a date on time...go get her!" She spoke of father's holding the priesthood and giving father's blessings to their girls. I remember getting father's blessings from my dad. She spoke of being your daughter's hero.
People have asked me a bunch if we were disappointed when we found Ivy was girl. We weren't. With Paisley we really had wanted a boy and had to adjust for a day to the news which just seems silly now because she is just so cute and special. But with Ivy, we were shocked. SHOCKED!. Four girls, never did we think we would ever have only one boy and four girls. But now that I am a mother of five, and four of them are girls I am more and more glad to have all these girls. Maybe also because Luke kept trying to wipe his boogers on people today and not know if I could handle more of that. Four future best friends, four amazing, beautiful girls that I get to raise and love. I loved having sisters and so glad my girls have them too. I will always be sad that Luke doesn't have a brother growing up, but we have lots of cool cousins and good friends and never would I trade a boy for these awesome sisters!
Bottom line is, was general conference the renewing I needed? Yes. Does that mean this week where the kids are out of school for fall break will be nutso? Definitely. That is my life for now. A little crazy. Lots usually. Still haven't figured it all out how to do it. But some great reminders about what I'm doing is very important work, especially for these five little people living with us.