Sunday, October 07, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls

I overslept. The tradition of the cinnamon rolls rests on my shoulders and I overslept. Didn't even hear the alarm. See, every year since I was maybe, 5, we've had the same big, wonderful breakfast on General Conference Sunday. Back in the day, we could only get a rebroadcast of one of Saturday's sessions. That was it. No radio, no nothing. My parents decided to make the most out of it, though and invited friends over and made cinnamon rolls, apples and sausage, eggs, fruit salad and tater tots. I have grown up looking forward to conference ever since. Then, we used to go to the stake center and listen to a telephone feed of conference. No video. That was fun as a pre-teen. Sitting in the dark, seeing no faces, trying to stay awake. Whew. But, we still had breakfast to look forward to. That was the good part. I was glad when we got actual satellite hookups and could go and really watch the broadcasts. I was like any kid or teen-conference was something to be gotten through, but I loved the weekend because everything just sort of stopped. We could be together, it was pretty relaxed and, most importantly of course, my parents created a conference habit. I think it is kind of a pioneer thing for me. My parents were reverse pioneers, coming east to build the church after their ancestors went west from Massachusetts and Illinois and Norway. They were thrilled to have any kind of connection with Salt Lake and really gave us kids a sense of being grateful for it. Now, we can watch it at home, and my mom has kept the breakfast tradition alive. The benefit is that my kids look forward to conference each time and know that it is a sacred weekend. My kids don't love every session, and usually about half of them fall asleep, but we do watch every session that we possibly can and they just know that's the way it is. We eased into it-Eric and I used to switch off going to sessions by ourselves, then taking the kids to one session as a family so they could practice. When they turned eight, we started taking the big kids with us when we went on our own and leaving the little ones, then eventually, we started going to all 4 sessions if we were available. I did the whole deal-conference books, games, rewards, everything, so they would have good memories of it. I guess it worked out okay. They don't question that we will participate. I am proud of them.

By the time Ev was eight, we got BYU tv and could start watching it at home. I guess it is a blessing from all those years of my parents' faithfulness making conference a non-negotiable. Usually it is a highlight of our family year.

Except for the fact that today may be the first time in 35 years that we have no cinnamon rolls. I have them rolled out, but the dough was in the fridge all night, so they are very sleepy and I am not seeing a lot of rising action. We are supposed to leave to go to my moms in about an hour and a half and I am scared. I will share a poem to distract myself.

This is about my parents who came to Maryland in 1970. Both were from Utah, born and bred, and both came from pioneer stock, but my dad had not been to the Mormon church in 10 years and my mom had never been baptized. When they got here, they found a ward meeting a mile from the first apartment they rented, felt lonely away from their families and decided to go back to church. The rest, as they say, is history. I am grateful for their faith.


My strength
Comes from a deep well
Dug by ancestors who
Searching for truth came
First from Motherland to New World
4 centuries ago and
Kept the well full and
Dipped in often to
Water their hardy souls
Then from Illinois to Utah
Came those who knew Joseph and
Understood the source of the water
From craggy fjords to High Desert Valley others came
Always coming west and
Digging a little deeper
They have filled our family well
With Living Water
That sometime ran low
But never completely dry
So that when my father and mother
Came east and
Took up buckets to
Slake their thirst
They found a trickle then
Took up shovels and
Found the shining stream
The well is full again

Kellie Nuss


  1. Lovely poem. I have yet to make my kids watch conference (rather enjoying being able to hear it myself rather than referee)but we're trying the conference bingo tactic today.

    Jake and I always had a nice beautiful breakfast on conference Saturday. But this year we were camping. So I guess we sort of did anyway . . .

  2. What a wonderful family tradition. I love the poem.

  3. I enjoyed your post as Brent and I were just discussing how to handle this whole conference issue with our children. I like Cami enjoy the messages that I get to hear w/o refereeing, but I know that eventually they should be sitting down and listening too. I just don't want to give up my peace and quiet on conference weekend. I am sure that your rolls will make it, did you try the trick of putting them in a warm oven with a pan of hot water, that usually wakes them up pretty good. I am sure they will be good. :-)

  4. Yummy tradition! I love watching conference at home. My kids actually sit for it, because the option is getting dressed and going to church, so they behave pretty well. Your poem is great. You are so smart and talented!

  5. Ah cinnamon rolls! That's my family's Conference tradition, too. Although we don't go all out--just the cinnamon rolls, actually. But hey, OUR morning session starts at 9am, so getting cinnamon rolls out of the oven by then takes a bit of doing. This year, Mom tried putting the dough in the fridge after the first rise last night and she rolled them out this morning and let them do the second rise, and it worked out really well... maybe waiting to roll them out until morning did the trick? Anyway, hope yours turned out!

    Oh, and I love your poem, especially the story that goes with it. What a great post!

  6. That's a great idea to use cinnamon rolls as an incentive. We usually do Bingo and it worked pretty well this year, and there was hardly any complaining. It was great. I don't know if they got much out of it though, but they do remember Pres. Hinckley's talk, so that's a good start I think (:

  7. I just might steal your cinnamon roll tradition, but maybe I'll do the frozen Rhodes cinnamon rolls.:) That is a beautiful poem!

  8. Thanks for that poem Kellie. I love family stories.


Thank you for sharing your insights!