Saturday, April 6, 2013

conference bucks~maybe my best idea ever

Many of you know that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Two weekends out of the year (October and April) we get the chance to listen to our prophet and his apostles speak the words of Jesus Christ to us.  Just like in Bible times, we believe that the Lord speaks to His prophets still, to give us guidance in an ever changing world.

While we believe we are entitled to daily personal revelation from the Lord, we look forward to the two weekends of "General Conference" to hear from the prophet, apostles, and other church leaders.  The conference is broadcast throughout the world, and many of us are able to watch it live on TV, over the Internet, or at our local church meetinghouse.

Sometimes, it's hard for little kids to sit still and listen.  When my kids were small, I came up with an idea, that has become a tradition in my family.  I am amazed that it still works with my teenagers.  I took computer paper and cut each sheet into approximate thirds.  I scribbled with marker on each one to make it look like a bill.  When I say scribble, you can see what I mean by the picture above!  You could probably make some a lot nicer than mine (and even do them on the computer and print them out), but I just wanted to get the job done while I was sitting on the couch.  I took a green marker, and put a number 1 in each corner and sketched a quick temple in the middle.  I made about 84 of them for my three kids to last through all sessions of conference.  I see that I didn't know how many to make in the beginning, so I have added to them over the years.  Some are on different colored paper, some have smiley faces in the corners, and some my kids made themselves!

After each talk (works really well these days if you can pause with DVR) each of my kids gets to say something that they learned from the speaker.  This encourages them to listen because they will get a "conference buck" after they share.  As a family, if we can earn all of the conference bucks by the time conference is over, we redeem our bucks with a family activity.

We think about things we want to do, and then decide on something such as dinner at a fun restaurant, bowling, a movie, or laser tag.  Not only do we get a lot more out of conference that way, but we also get to spend some bonus time together as a family to create memories!  I have been meaning to post this, because I believe that a lot of families in my church could benefit from this idea.  And, since this weekend is General Conference, it is especially appropriate!

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