Someone told me as we were moving that one of the most important things for us to do would be to keep our family traditions. Something about it providing stability and helping the kiddos feel safe. It seemed obvious to me until I realized last week that one of our family traditions is Sunday morning breakfast before General Conference at Grandma's house. In fact, most of our family traditions have something to do with our extended family members. I realized I couldn't rely on my mom's french toast and omelet's anymore and we would need traditions of our own.
I had grand ideas of having a very spiritual moment with the kids while reading about King Benjamin and all his people turning the doors of their tents towards the temple to hear the words of the prophet. In the end it was Dean pulling the new beach umbrella out of the garage just before the opening hymn and fashioning a blanket over it while the boys filled it with pillows. Ben did say, "Hey Mom, it's like when Lehi and all those guys went into the desert." I'll take what I can get.
I sometimes worry that we go to great lengths to "make an impression" and in the end it wouldn't have mattered if we'd gone to all the trouble. But then Alan came into the kitchen while I was getting lunch and said, "Mom, is it Christmas?" Ben was quick to remind him that Christmas was "seventy times better than a tent in the living room".
In the end I think it's a tradition we'll be keeping. At least until tents stop being cool. It got them to sit for a while with us while we watched conference, even if they were only planning a "better tent" for next time.