We had our local Stake Conference this last Sunday, following hard on the heels of General Conference. For those of you who don't know, General Conference is broadcast from our church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. We listen to our prophet and other "general" authorities, including apostles and other area leaders. Then there's Stake Conference (no reference to meat "steaks" here, which has disappointed a new member or two, including my husband's family), which is the gathering of several local "wards" or congregations of an area. We meet in the Stake Center, which is built bigger than the usual ward meeting houses.
Well, being the morning people that we are, we were up and running.... at about 8 am. This meant we didn't exactly fly out the door at 9 to be to church a little before 10 am. We were only about 8 minutes late walking in. By that point, all the "cushy" pews were filled, and we got to be the late losers sitting in the back row.
About a half hour into the meeting, a little girl about 18 months had had enough of sitting quietly with her parents and older sister, who was around the twins' age. She started wandering. Her parents seemed to be cool with that. The little girl slid through the back of the folding metal chair and into our row. Now, we had arrived late and the 6 of us were crammed onto 5 metal chairs. It's not like we had a lot of room. Adding one more little girl did not help matters. This little girl helped herself to our toys, crayons and paper, and crackers.
And she did not go back to her mom.
For an hour.
Near the end of that time, the girl was banging one of our magnetic doodle pads on one of the chairs, causing a big racket. By this time, the girl had moved from being cute to being a nuisance, and I was not about to try to shush her. About every 5 minutes or so the mom would turn around and tell the little girl to be quiet. The little girl wouldn't respond, and the mom would turn around to listen to the speakers again. I was giving the back of that mom's head the stink eye.
Clearly I was getting a lot from the meeting. I hadn't heard one word a speaker had said after about 11 am. Maddie started saying, "This is a long church." I had to agree.
Finally the mom decided her daughter was making too much racket, and took her out of the room.
Time dragged on, but we made it to noon. The meeting was supposed to be done, but the last speaker was still going on about something. (I never heard what, though.) Then we had the closing hymn (sang all verses of Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel), and then listened to a very long (although I'm sure heartfelt) closing prayer. Once it was all over, and we thought we could escape, we couldn't.
One of the ladies in our home ward was babysitting 4 children, and had car trouble. She wasn't sure she would make it back ok, and thought it would be better to have others take the kids back home, as their parents were due back from their anniversary trip any time. So, we waited around to gather Emma's friend. And waited. Finally, we could leave.
We figured we would just go home and feed the starving kids their lunch before taking the friend home. This friend of Emma's, while very smart and articulate, might need to work on her manners. She walked in our front door, and made some comment to Emma about, "Doesn't your mom decorate your house?"
Um, yah. I do. Our dad isn't an orthodontist, and we just bought a house more than twice the size of our last one. Our budget hasn't allowed for a lot of new furniture and stuff in the last two two months, so the front living room is still pretty sparse.
On that happy note, Ryan and I thought we should invite another family over for dinner.
Four invites later..... I'd had enough rejection for one day, thank you very much. So we picked a 5 pound bucket of grapes and canned some grape juice. Ha! Take that- mean and rotten Sunday.