Sunday, April 5, 2009

Who Was That Four-Armed Man?

What a wonderful General Conference weekend we’ve had; but first a report on our Spring Break. After several impressions while listening to past General Conference addresses at work, I have felt the need to come up with a way to spend more one-on-one time with each kid. So we have started “Day out with Dad.” One day a month, I plan to spend several hours with each kid individually doing something together away from the home and their siblings. Being Spring Break, we were able to do all three of them this week. (Caden is still not quite old enough for this, but we’ll begin doing a scaled down version for him soon.) On Tuesday, Tyler and I went up to the church gym and played sports together. It was a lot of fun. On Wednesday, we went to Monsters vs. Aliens with Grandma Shirts. It was a pretty funny movie and the 3D was great. Then, on Thursday, Bailey and I went to the Library and checked out some books. However, Bailey is becoming quite the young lady already, and after a short time we headed to Once Upon A Child (used kids clothing store), where she tried on several dresses and then purchased one she really liked. She wasn’t done yet though; we then headed to the Dollar Store where after much deliberation, she bought a bag of bubble gum.

Trevin’s turn came on Friday, and of course, he wanted to do what Tyler did, so up to the gym we went again. We played catch with a football, then shot baskets, played kickball and played a little baseball. He was ready to head home though, after about an hour, so I asked him if he wanted to something else, like go look at toys at Wal-Mart (right across the street). He said he wanted to go where Bailey went and look at clothes. I said: “Look at clothes, really?” He confirmed, then I said: “That’s for girls.” He stopped and asked with a concerned tone: “Really?” I said: “Well guys look at clothes, too, but is that what you really want to do?” He decided to look at toys at Wal-Mart instead. All-in-all it was a fun week with lots of good moments with the kids.

And of course, I haven’t even mentioned Monday, yet. We finally brought soil in for our garden box, which we made two years ago. They were all very good helpers, including their cousin Hailey, who was spending the day with us. And they are excited to plant, and then harvest a garden.

Now to General Conference: We are to liken the scriptures unto ourselves, right? So with that in mind: Mosiah 2:1&5-6 read: “1…the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them. 5 And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family…. 6 And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them….”
We wanted to get the kids excited about conference, so we read them those verses and then set up their tents. We made them a word find, and came up with a good way to get them to pay attention. We chose about a dozen words or phrases and attached each of them to a different snack. Each time they heard a speaker use one of the words, they got the snack. Of course, they loved that game. Hopefully, over time, as they grow older, they’ll come to love and appreciate conference for its spiritual nourishment and not just the physical. But for now, we were pleased to see them sit (mostly quiet) through four sessions of conference. And Tyler and Trevin even went to the Priesthood session with me. They like to go (and are very reverent), so who am I to say no?

One other note on conference; Tyler gave us a lesson on the importance of general conference on Friday evening. As part of that, we all made two selections as to who we thought the new Apostle would be. Bailey went first and picked two from the 70. She then changed her second choice to Neil L. Andersen. I said, no you can’t pick him he’s my first choice. Of course, it was OK that we both picked him. I have listened to a few of his talks over the past several weeks, and I just had a feeling he would be the one. So, with that in mind, it was really cool to hear his name called.

Well, that is a recap on our Spring Break. Kind of wordy, but for those who don’t have this much time on their hands, remember Grandpas and Grandmas, do. Now, on to the latest funnies:

Trevin was on the couch with Carol and I and he kept stinking us out. Carol said: “Whoa, stinky tooters; point that bummy somewhere else.” Trevin replied: “Point that tummy somewhere else.”

Bailey was choosing her treat after lunch and we still have a few mint M&Ms left from Christmas, in a little container. She asked: “Can I have all of them?” I didn’t think she knew that they were the mint flavored ones, so I told her they were. She said: “Oh, then I’ll save them till next Christmas.”

Trevin wanted a toasted English muffin for breakfast, and he wanted to make it. I asked him how he was going to make it? He said: “You can butter it, and I can put it in the toaster.” I reminded him he couldn’t reach the toaster. He replied that Tyler got on the counter and did it. So I had him come over and I picked him up so he could put it in. He ran back to the table and excitedly said: “Bailey I put my English muffin in the toaster, all by myself.” Bailey remained quiet for a moment, and then said: “Well, I don’t have to be excited about it.”

Trevin likes to push his little brother around, tackle him and knock him over. It’s something we are always telling him to stop doing. That’s not working obviously, because he continues to do it. The other day he knocked him down and Caden’s forehead hit the corner of the couch. It is solid wood and it left a huge dent, which later turned into a huge bump which starts in the middle of his eyebrow and goes close to an inch above it; nasty looking lump. After the fact, Trevin was upset because he had lost some privileges for the rest of the day. He then said he didn’t push him down, he fell down by himself. I told him to tell the truth. He said that was the truth, even though he had earlier admitted to his deed. I said: “You’re supposed to be honest. I’ll bet in Primary they teach you to be honest.” He replied very emphatically: “No, they never tell us that.”

As explained above, we are getting ready to do a garden for the first time this year and just brought in soil. The next day Trevin asked Carol if we could go out and plant the garden. Carol told him we didn’t have any seeds yet. So they were naming some things they would like to plant, and Bailey asked: “Can we plant squash?” Carol replied: “I don’t think you guys like squash.” Then Bailey replied with the wonderful facial expressions she is so akin to: “Yeah, I tried it like 19 years ago, and I just liked it.”

Bailey’s joke with me the other day: B: “Dad, what’s your name?” Me: “Dad.” B: “What color is the sky?” Me: “Blue.” B: “What’s your last name?” Me: “Livingston.” B: “Dad Blue Livingston”, followed by hilarious laughter by Bailey. She’s got a future as a Late Show writer. Later, I learned from word on the playground (Tyler) the last question is supposed to be “What’s the opposite of down?” thus making the answer: “Dad blue (blew) up.” So much more funny, now that the punch line is correct.

During the closing hymn of the Sunday morning session, they showed a shot of the two guys playing the organ. However, it was lined up just right that one of the guys was right behind the other and all you could see were his arms. Tyler, said: “Whoa, what happened? He has three arms. No, he has four arms.” Carol said: That organ is so big it takes two people to play it.” They then showed a different angle where you could see both men.” Tyler goes, “Oh there are two of them.” I said: “Did you really think he had four arms?” He smiled and laughed at himself and said: “Yes.” We all had a good laugh, him included.


Switzer Family said...

That's a great idea for Conference. I'm going to use that next time! We have a tradition of having several treats during Conference, but linking them to words in the talks, well that's pure genius. well-done!

Susan said...

Hey Kent! I'm enjoying getting updates on your family through your blog. Thanks for updating it! I'm thoroughly impressed with the ideas you did for conference for your kids. Great idea to make sure they are listening!

KimnSam said...

I love the idea of setting up the tents! That would work like a charm around here too!