GCBC Update

So the countdown is on.  24 hours until General Conference.  So. Excited. (We got tickets to the Saturday AM session, and I can’t wait to take my boys.)

In case you missed it, you still have time to make your guesses for the General Conference guessing game contest.

This Sunday marks the beginning of the SEVENTH round of our semi-annual General Conference Book Club.  It is such a great opportunity to study and review all the talks from our prophets and apostles.  I have been hosting the GCBC here for three years. But because I’m taking a little sabbatical, Becca will be adopting and hosting this next round of GCBC at her blog:  My Soul Delighteth.

She will do a great job with my “baby” and I hope that all of you that have been so faithful in participating will continue to make your contribution there.  I also hope that those of you who keep thinking and trying to participate will take this chance to jump in and be a part of a great discussion and powerful study material.  So starting this Sunday, almost as immediately as conference is over, hop on over to week one of GCBC.  The first week will be a place for you to share your favorite conference moments, thoughts, quotes, topics, talks, etc.: a forum for celebrating what you heard.  Then starting the next Sunday, you’ll go through all the talks one by one.

It’s awesome.  Do it.

And have a FANTASTIC weekend!

General Conference Guessing Game and a few more ideas

I usually do a post-conference trivia contest, but I thought it might be fun to shake things up a little bit and do a pre-conference guessing contest.  This might be fun to duplicate in your own family and play with each other.

For the sake of the blog, go ahead and make your guesses in the comment box below.  Since it’s all random guessing, I don’t think there’s any advantage or disadvantage by seeing each others’ picks.  I will pick the winner for each question (by drawing if there’s a tie), and then those 10 winners will go in a drawing for the “Grand Prize,” which will be a copy of the book I was proud to be a part of:

Tell Me Who I Am: Stories of Faith, Family, and Identity

So here goes:

General Conference Guessing Game

1.  How many new temples do you think will be announced?

2.  What’s your guess for any auxiliaries to be reorganized? (RS, YW, YM, SS, none)

3.  Take a guess at one location of a new temple.  Name a state in the US or a country outside of the US.

4.  Barring any absence, 11 of the 12 apostles speak in the four Saturday and Sunday sessions. Who’s your guess for the one apostle that only speaks in Priesthood session?

5.  Who will conduct the first session of conference (Sat. AM)?

6.  How many members of the church will be announced in the statistical report?

7.  What color dresses will the women of the Tabernacle Choir wear on Sunday morning?

8.  Who will be the first woman to speak in this session of conference?

9.  What color tie will President Monson wear on Sunday?

10.  Make a guess for a congregational hymn that might be sung at any of the four sessions.

I acknowledge that this is just for fun and has no true spiritual benefit other than to maybe make us pay a little more attention while we watch.  All entries recieved by 9:30 a.m. MST on Saturday morning will be in the running for the prize.  :)

Other ideas:

I’ve shared tons and tons and tons of conference preparation in the past, especially for the kids.  This year, I decided to do a little variation on the tradition “packet” idea.  Sometimes my kids just flip through the packet and pick a few things to do and then don’t seem to pay as much attention to it as I would like.  So I’m trying a new approach, based loosely on this idea I saw on Pinterest:

I printed out a list of the names of the First Presidency and 12 Apostles and then cut them out.  One copy for each child. (You could also use pictures instead of names.)

I skimmed through all the different packet versions I’ve seen over the years (there’s a good collection here) and printed out pages of specific activities I knew would engage my kids based on their interests, reading level, etc.  Then I stapled each apostle’s name to one activity (a crossword puzzle, a cut-and-paste of apostles in the red chairs, a Friend magazine to cut up and make a collage, etc.).  Not all of them are conference related.  There are one or two that are just stickers or stencils and crayons to keep their hands busy.  Some of them are just stapled to a piece of paper that says:  “Get 3 popsicle stick puzzles and play with them” or “Play the Apostles Memory Game

The idea is this: Whenever an apostles or First Presidency member speaks, the child finds the speaker’s name and can do that activity during his talk.  There will still be ongoing bingo and traditional packet items with notetaking, etc. (see below) for them to do during all the other speakers, but it helps them to pace out different activities and change focus often.

So other than making food and gathering up snacks, I’m ready to roll!  I hope it’s helpful to someone.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Bring on Conference!

Breaking News (and other earth-shattering announcements)

This post is a COPY of Sunday’s.  When I did two posts in a row, I think this one got buried, and I just wanted to make sure it was out there.  If you’ve already seen it, it’s old news.  Sorry.

[image credit]

Forgive me while I wax administrative for a day, but there are a few news-items I need to communicate.  Get your mouse-clicker finger ready because I’m sending you all over the place.

1.  For the sake of pure anticipation, I need to let you know that in September, I will be teaming up with  Montserrat of Chocolate on my Cranium, Jocelyn of We Talk of Christ, and the mysterious Middle-aged Mormon Man to host a Family Proclamation Celebration.  It’s exactly what it claims to be: a two-week star-studded gala honoring the timeless principles of Family: A Proclamation to the World.  And by star-studded, I mean a cohort of guest posts that will knock your socks off, including but not limited to:

Shawni at 71 Toes
DeNae at My Real Life Was Backordered
Michelle at Mormon Women
Allison at Simple Inspiration
Melanie at Write Stuff
Ken at The Craig Report
Some other dear real-life friends that predate my blog,
and Matt (my husband, who puts the stud in star-studded),
plus even more, because that doesn’t even include guest posts at the three other blogs.

Also, in association with the celebration, Montserrat is putting together a video of families around the world reading phrases from the Proclamation.  It would be really helpful if you would do a little webcam project and submit it to her. (I’m sure it will bring you lots of fame and fortune.)  You can get more information here.

There’s really nothing else you need to do about this now except get excited.  And get your kids all ready for back-to-school in late August so that you can spend September 17-30 basically reading blog manna around the clock.

More announcements.  I’ll be brief.  (I’ll try.)

2. I’m taking a blog sabbatical.

sabbatical:  any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.

I know I’ve tried this before and failed, but this time I really mean it.  :)  I just accepted a very-part-time job to teach a Doctrine and Covenants class at BYU that starts in a few weeks. (Thrilling and terrifying at the same time.) It has become clear to me that in order to make this work and still keep my focus on my family, I need to adjust my juggling act, so I’ve picked the blog as a plate to drop.  I’m sure I will pop in occasionally because loud people don’t shut up well, and obviously I’ll be up and running again by September (see announcement #1).  Other pre-determined exceptions are listed below.

3. General Conference and GCBC.  This week, I will still do a few fun posts about getting ready for general conference.  I have been hosting the General Conference Book Club here for three years.  I can hardly believe it.  It’s my “baby,” and I love it, but it doesn’t fit well with sabbaticals, so I’m handing it off like a faith-filled birth mother.  Becca will be adopting and hosting this next round of GCBC at her blog:  My Soul Delighteth.  I’ll post more information this week, but I wanted to give you a heads up.  It will be the same deal, same system, and I really hope you will still use it as the gospel-study tool it was intended to be.  I plan to still participate, but I’m just not going to host it for a season.

4.  My Pretty Darn Funny Video.  I posted yesterday about this video contest I entered.  Turns out that, after reading all the small print, I’m still confused about when the votes actually count.  The real promotion period starts on March 31st (I think), so I may come out of my sabbatical once or twice to do some shameless self-promotion and ask you to vote again.  I really, really want to win that Caribbean cruise.  Forgive me in advance?  Thanks for all your votes so far, and feel free to drop by right here at random and leave more votes pretty much any day between now and the end of May.  :)

5. “I love you, man.”  I just want to say thank you for all your kind support here on the blog over these last few years.  This isn’t a funeral speech, and you’ll be hearing from me periodically, but really, thank you.  I’ve loved your comments, participation, and virtual friendship.  You make a sabbatical feel really hard to do.

GCBC Week 26: “The Songs They Could Not Sing” by Elder Quentin L. Cook

First of all, if you didn’t see all the recent blog announcements, go check them out.

[image credit]

We did it!  This is the last talk we’ll study for this round of general conference.  The conference countdown has begun.

That picture up there will make a lot more sense after you study this talk.  It’s a classic analysis of the age-old question:  why do bad things happen to good people?, and then it’s followed up with counsel of how to navigate those trials and testimony about the justice of God’s Plan.  The answers, of course, are found in the Savior.

The Songs They Could Not Sing by Elder Quentin L. Cook

” There are many kinds of challenges. Some give us necessary experiences. Adverse results in this mortal life are not evidence of lack of faith or of an imperfection in our Father in Heaven’s overall plan. The refiner’s fire is real, and qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God.”

Update:  I had forgotten that we did this talk already back in December.  I paired it up with another talk.  Sorry about that.  If this is a repeat for you, study Pres. Monson’s closing remarks from conference this week or Pres. Uchtdort’s awesome talk from the General RS meeting.

What are some of your favorite insights from this talk?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

The next round of General Conference Book Club will be hosted from a different home.  Go here to read the announcement (skip down to number 3).

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.” If you want to learn more, go here.

Breaking News (and other earth-shattering announcements)

[image credit]

Forgive me while I wax administrative for a day, but there are a few news-items I need to communicate.  Get your mouse-clicker finger ready because I’m sending you all over the place.

1.  For the sake of pure anticipation, I need to let you know that in September, I will be teaming up with  Montserrat of Chocolate on my Cranium, Jocelyn of We Talk of Christ, and the mysterious Middle-aged Mormon Man to host a Family Proclamation Celebration.  It’s exactly what it claims to be: a two-week star-studded gala honoring the timeless principles of Family: A Proclamation to the World.  And by star-studded, I mean a cohort of guest posts that will knock your socks off, including but not limited to:

Shawni at 71 Toes
DeNae at My Real Life Was Backordered
Michelle at Mormon Women
Allison at Simple Inspiration
Melanie at Write Stuff
Ken at The Craig Report
Some other dear real-life friends that predate my blog,
and Matt (my husband, who puts the stud in star-studded),
plus even more, because that doesn’t even include guest posts at the three other blogs.

Also, in association with the celebration, Montserrat is putting together a video of families around the world reading phrases from the Proclamation.  It would be really helpful if you would do a little webcam project and submit it to her. (I’m sure it will bring you lots of fame and fortune.)  You can get more information here.

There’s really nothing else you need to do about this now except get excited.  And get your kids all ready for back-to-school in late August so that you can spend September 17-30 basically reading blog manna around the clock.

More announcements.  I’ll be brief.  (I’ll try.)

2. I’m taking a blog sabbatical.

sabbatical:  any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.

I know I’ve tried this before and failed, but this time I really mean it.  :)  I just accepted a very-part-time job to teach a Doctrine and Covenants class at BYU that starts in a few weeks. (Thrilling and terrifying at the same time.) It has become clear to me that in order to make this work and still keep my focus on my family, I need to adjust my juggling act, so I’ve picked the blog as a plate to drop.  I’m sure I will pop in occasionally because loud people don’t shut up well, and obviously I’ll be up and running again by September (see announcement #1).  Other pre-determined exceptions are listed below.

3. General Conference and GCBC.  This week, I will still do a few fun posts about getting ready for general conference.  I have been hosting the General Conference Book Club here for three years.  I can hardly believe it.  It’s my “baby,” and I love it, but it doesn’t fit well with sabbaticals, so I’m handing it off like a faith-filled birth mother.  Becca will be adopting and hosting this next round of GCBC at her blog:  My Soul Delighteth.  I’ll post more information this week, but I wanted to give you a heads up.  It will be the same deal, same system, and I really hope you will still use it as the gospel-study tool it was intended to be.  I plan to still participate, but I’m just not going to host it for a season.

4.  My Pretty Darn Funny Video.  I posted yesterday about this video contest I entered.  Turns out that, after reading all the small print, I’m still confused about when the votes actually count.  The real promotion period starts on March 31st (I think), so I may come out of my sabbatical once or twice to do some shameless self-promotion and ask you to vote again.  I really, really want to win that Caribbean cruise.  Forgive me in advance?  Thanks for all your votes so far, and feel free to drop by right here at random and leave more votes pretty much any day between now and the end of May.  :)

5. “I love you, man.”  I just want to say thank you for all your kind support here on the blog over these last few years.  This isn’t a funeral speech, and you’ll be hearing from me periodically, but really, thank you.  I’ve loved your comments, participation, and virtual friendship.  You make a sabbatical feel really hard to do.