Happy Conference Weekend!

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This weekend was the General Conference for our church. We have our kids watch all four, two hour sessions of conference (unless they're young enough to be napping -- I'm talking to you, Penelope), which is probably way too much church for kids this age (they certainly are crazies afterwards), but we do it anyway.

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We do try to make the Saturday sessions a bit more fun, and we've done pretty much everything: let them play with legos/tinker toys while listening, play listening games with treats, etc. We've even had them all dress up in church clothes and sit in a line on the couch with their arms folded (probably the most effective, actually).

But, this year we went for the lie-around-in-your-pajamas approach (there may or may not have been some chocolates and cinnamon rolls involved).

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Moses probably had the hardest time of anyone sitting still this weekend. One session, as soon as the closing hymn hit, he started dancing around and chatting.
Linus (growling at him with self-righteous anger): DING-ING! A!! DONG!!! (singing a song) 
Woo: No, Linus. We are not dinging a dong.
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And a special thanks to Herbie for pointing out every black person in every choir and every speaker with a foreign accent. He thought most of them were french.

He would also tell Ruby that her comments on speakers' appearances were rude, and then would say things like:
Elder Holland looks like a bulldog. (Herbie considers this a compliment, since his school mascot is a bulldog.)
Elder Oaks is named Oaks because his head looks like an oak.
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Last year at this time was one of the worst weeks we'd had with the kids. I don't remember a lot of it except that before Sunday's morning conference we had three kids pee on the carpet in their rooms. 

It was pretty obvious that everyone was having a tough time making the transition to this school thing, and although, this year has not been perfect -- they still have a few nights a week where they're loud and obnoxious (Don't tell them I said that!), and are often tired -- I think it's been a lot better. 

I'm hoping that I can take last year as a model, and expect this week to be the very worst, and for it to only get better from here.

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Part of what has made this week hard for me is the three phone calls I got this week from the school counselor.

Ruby and Herbie have learned that if they say they don't have enough lunch, or don't have one, the lunch lady will give them a school lunch. (Which they put on a bill that we'll finally see at Parent Teacher Conference -- next week.)

We actually learned about this first from someone who'd heard second or third hand that someone at the school was concerned that we didn't have money to feed our kids.

Meanwhile, Woo and I are wondering why our kids bring home their lunch partially or not eaten.  Grrr. 

The counselor gave me lots of condescending advice, and I tried to make clear to her that we thought the "free lunch" was the problem. 

We did work out a system where if Ruby or Herbie came through the lunch line again, they would be told to go recheck their backpack for a lunch, and in the case that there really wasn't one (Unfortunately, Herbie really did forget his lunch for the first time, one of the days she called.), they should be sent to the office to call me.

Which, really, why hadn't that been their policy all along? I get called for lots of other things ... why couldn't they send them to the office to call me? I'm sure the kids would've just eaten their own lunch the first time it happened, and we wouldn't have had a bill rack up, judgements made against us, etc.

Also, in case you were wondering, 5th grade is the age that the school counselor thinks a child is ready to pack their own lunch.

Anyway, I'm hoping we've got it all worked out now ...

Hope you all had a great week!