Monday, October 5, 2009

Homemaker Monday: How to Keep Many Small Children Entertained for 8 Hours of Church

Welcome to the 61st weekly edition of...


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YOURS: It was so hard to chose this week's "YOURS". There were encouraging posts about the coming season change, great recipes and wonderfully instructive how-tos. However, because I had to choose, I chose Cocoa over at "Chocolate on My Cranium" for her post about taking time for ourselves. This struck a chord with me because so many of us do not refuel a little everyday. If we run out of gas, who then is going to take care of our homes and children? We need to find a balance. Even when you have as many kids as Cocoa does...


...you still must find ways to take time for yourself. Read Cocoa's post for a good laugh as well as timely inspiration from a nationally known instructor of God's word. You will be inspired. I promise. Click HERE to get there. Thank you so much, Chocolate on My Cranium, for your inspiration this week. Please feel free to take the "I Was Featured" button from my left sidebar as a thank you if you would like! We'll see ya next week!

MINE: If you read my title, and your not Mormon, I know what you're thinking. This woman is insane. Who takes their little kids to 8 HOURS OF CHURCH????

Let me explain, lest you do think I have truly lost my mind. Actually, my explanation might not change that opinion. We'll see.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or The Mormons, believe in a living prophet and 12 apostles who are called of God to help lead and guide the church and it's members. Every six months we are privileged to receive council from these men, and other men and women who lead the worldwide church via satellite. There are some who actually travel to Salt Lake City, where the conference is broadcast to listen to our prophet, but most either listen to it via satellite in local church buildings, in their homes via satellite TV or on the internet via live stream. These meetings occur for two hours on Saturday morning, then two more hours in the afternoon, then again on Sunday, for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. The men of the church who are 12 and older are asked to attend a special priesthood meeting on Saturday evening as well.

Our family chose to receive this prophetic counsel in two ways. John took the 17-, 14-, 13-, and 9-year-olds to Salt Lake City to watch the conference in person, and I traveled to The States with the 4 youngest to watch it with my mother via live internet feed in the comfort of her den.

Here are my tips for entertaining a 7-year-old, a 3-year-old and 2 19-month-olds during 8 hours of a church conference...

Things you'll need:

-Printable conference packets, which consist of various coloring sheets, word searches, dot-to-dots etc., appropriate for the theme of the conference
-Crayons
-Books
-Vibrating Tooth Brush
-Popcorn
-Screwdrivers
-Wet Wipes
-Pretend Cell Phone
-Empty Popcorn Bag

Here is the media from which we received our inspiration this weekend...



...my mother's 17" monitor in her den.

Things began well, as the reverent children colored their printable conference packets, as planned and encouraged...






However, once the 7-year-old girl realized her little brother would be coloring with HER brand-new 24-pack Crayola set, this could simply not be tolerated...




This event occured about 14 minutes into the conference. Fortunately, Grandma had a vibrating toothbrush on hand, which entertained Twin B nearly the entire first session...



(The book was used as a surface on which to vibrate the toothbrush, but was never actually read.)

The congregational singing also seemed to help when times got tough, along with a pink beeping cell phone and, of course, the vibrating toothbrush...





Look at this angelic face just taking it all in. Not. He had just returned from time out for throwing toys at the twins and had just finished wiping his tears. I know, sad, but true. I can't lie to the world on my blog after just having watched 8 hours of church via satellite.

Surprisingly, things started to unravel during the last hour. Surely you sense my sarcasm even though you can't hear my voice. Twin B had ventured into Grandma's laundry room and found where she keeps her screwdrivers. This was a great source of stress to Grandma, as the twins like to run screwdrivers, when they find them, along her wood furniture. However, they did keep Twin B entertained until she finally asked me to take them from him...




We then turned to placing wet wipes on the childrens' heads as a form of entertainment. The 7-year-old thought it was great fun, as long as the vibrating toothbrush was in her mouth...



...but Twin A was not affected one way or the other...



However, poking his back with the vibrating toothbrush did seem to do the trick...



The climax of the event came when the children consumed all of Grandma's hydrogenated oil, MSG microwave popcorn, tore the bag into three pieces and proceeded to lick the hydrogenated oil/artifical butter flavor/MSG/salt off the inside of the bag...



Those of you who know me know that this is something I would never allow in my own home. The only way the vile poison comes through my door is if the kids have saved up chore money and purchase it themselves. However, when you add Grandma's house + four small children + 8 hours of church via satellite, the sum is the afore-mentioned solution.

I'm grateful my husband and four older children were able to watch the conference in person and I am so grateful I will be able to watch archives of this conference via internet and read the talks published in our church magazine during the quiet hours the sweet children are sleeping. I hear the talks were excellent and inspiring. I'm sure they were and I look forward to hearing them.

OURS: Okay, let's hear all of your amazing tips, recipes, how-tos and even flops! We can all learn from your mistakes! Thank you so much for joining us this Homemaker Monday and I hope you all have a GREAT week!





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18 comments:

alessandra said...

How did you know my first thinking? but exactly it was:"Do they have 8 Hours of Church every sunday?"
Oh, Jen you made me laugh a lot with the tooth brush and all the rest!

Hoosier Homemade said...

All in all, it looked like a great day. Thanks for hosting!
~Liz

Melinda said...

GREAT!!

Jessica said...

thank goodness we can watch the sessions later on...while the babies are sleeping :) though i did catch a key phrase here and there. i am excited b/c i heard elder cook is coming to our stake conference next sunday. yep, two weeks in a row of conference!

Kami said...

You are a brave woman trying to keep that many children occupied for so long! :) I understand the feeling, though!

LOVED this post and all of the pictures!

Cheryl B. said...

Ideas I have used for similar situations in the past:

Make your own 'rope necklaces' - which they then turn around and eat ;-} Use THIN rope licorace, Cheerios, Fruit Loops, dried fruit with a hole punched in the middle, etc..

Portable tape players with head sets, a variety of kids cassete tapes. Some kids want to make sure they've tried every single one. By variety I mean - a couple of different ones were church type sing-a-longs, a couple from Disney which contained Disney Movies theme songs, a couple of ones which have stories read on them, etc.

Duplo's and Lego's - such wonderful inventions!!!!

Homemade (edible) Playdough, accompanied with child size rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc.. Parchment paper taped to a coffee table via the blue tape they use when painting cars, works wonderfully!!

"Break time" every half hour. Serve small portioned nurshing snacks - cheese and crackers, fruit, breakfast cookies, etc.. This breaks up the time and they look forward to it. Once they finish one snack, you then start the half hour count down to the next one. It helps to have a timer they can see but not touch, so they can check how much time is left for them selves. Yes, even the 19 months old - show them they have to wait till the arrow points 'there'.

Have the Lego's and Duplo's in one back pack, the Playdough in another, the makings for necklaces in another .... then after snack time, they have to put away everything from the previous bag in order to discover the treasure awaiting them in the next backpack ;-}

I will be hooking up this weeks "tip" once son #2 gets home from work, and helps me find where in the heck he filed the picture I asked him to download off of the camera for me 8-/ ...

JBirch22 said...

Who is the church's current "living prophet"?

I'm never around the house during Questions about Mormonism :P

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Wasn't conference great? I think the talk I needed to hear the most was Elder Bednar's (at least at this point in my life).

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Cocoa, I really loved Elder Bednar's talk as well. Usually he is so deep I have to read his talks over and over again, but this was simply and straight forward.....show love!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Cheryl, these tips are awesome! You should just link this as your homemaker monday post! Thank you and I will be using these ideas!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hi JBirth22! Great seeing you here from MckMama's, right? The current living prophet of our church is President Thomas S. Monson. You can learn more about him at lds.org if you'd like. Thank you for your question. I would love it if you could come to tomorrow's chat if you have any other questions. Are you going to be around for it? If not, I am totally good with answering questins here, too! Again, thanks for your visit!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

OH, sorry JBirch22, the chat is on my blog tomorrow from 10:00 to 11:45 AM MST.

Jennifer said...

Some of the simplest things can occupy a child's mind! Thankfully they don't always cost a small fortune. You might try taking broken down boxes to grandma's next time and reassembling them with some tape. The kids will have a BLAST!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Jennifer, awesome idea! Thank you!

The Farmer's Wife said...

Jen...totally off the posted subject...but Toria tells me you all had a bit of an accident...I keep thinking you will post about it...what happened??

Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship said...

Oh, hilarious. Who needs "toys" anyway!

I could not decide what homemakers needed to hear about more: non-toxic laundry soap (that's also frugal) or cheap, healthy bean recipes. I went with the former, but if you're interested in bean recipes, check out the link under "carnivals" at my site!

:) Katie

Amanda B. said...

What a hoot! I so get what you are saying! ha ha! I go through the same stuff. However, I have never gotten brave enough to watch all 4 sessions with my kids in the room- we go for 1....maybe someday, we will do all 4. :) That is awesome!

Kristin said...

Wow, I'm so glad I read the comments section of this post - so many good ideas! The pictures were hilar, Jen. I miss you guys!