Saturday, August 18, 2012

Head Lock!

I learned that this is an illegal headlock. You've got to include her arm, bro.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Papa!

For Dad's birthday, we went down to St. George for a cousin wedding and stayed at Sports Village. It was fun to hang at the pool with Bennetts and eat Papa's special birthday cake - the same recipe that President Monson's mother, Gladys, was famous for on birthdays in the Monson home. Remember when President Monson tells about taking dinner each Sunday down to Old Bob and Bob offers to tip him for delivery and Tommy Monson says, "Oh, no. I couldn't take that. My mother would tan my hide!" And Nigel does an awesome demonstration of how to tan your own hide. Gladys Condie Monson lived in Salt Lake City next to all of her sisters. Their wedding present from their dad was a duplex where they could live in one side and rent out the other. Well, Gladys made this special cake for Old Bob's birthday, too.

So...we made Papa this cake for his birthday. It was delicious. And huge. And delicious. And Lance got to open up his birthday present, as well. He looks amazing. Happy Birthday, Papa. We love you. Happy Birthday, Lance. We love you. May you range powerfully for a long time!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The B.O.M. is the bomb!

Right before Scott was born, Jake's missionary zone decided to read the entire Book of Mormon in the month of May. Jacob invited us all to participate. I decided I wanted to get in on the reread of a book that has greatly influenced my life. This book is what ancient and modern prophets have said it is - Another Testament of Jesus Christ - a record of His willingness to teach truth to all nations, not just nations of the Eastern hemisphere. One group of his children sailed across the ocean and kept their record of their people and their testimonies of their God. And that record was passed down, generation to generation and translated by Joseph Smith, Jr. and I have read it a few times. This time was significant to me because I had just given birth to baby #4. And my transition from 2 to 3 babies was not hard. But I was nervous that my transition from 3 to 4 would be more than I could handle. But reading the Book of Mormon during the first month of Scott's life was totally awesome. I didn't have time to be exhausted or overwhelmed or cranky or watch any television or anything extra. I only focused on my family and my 16 pages a day (or huge catch up depending on how many pages I hadn't gotten in the days before). It's a miracle. A miracle that I got it done and a miracle that adding something extra to an already busy life could create peace. The Book of Mormon holds a message of peace for me. I appreciated immersing myself in the stories again. These people lived and some of them died for the message of the gospel of the Savior of the World.
I remember the first time, as a teenager, that I decided to read the entire book and ask if it was true. This was my second fervent the bathroom. The first happened when I prayed for my patriarchal blessing to go well. The second happened a few months later after I had finished my first read by myself. I knelt down. I expected an answer and wondered how it would go. I asked if what I had read was true. I felt mildly chastised and extremely surprised and then filled with love. I had always known that it was true. What a gift.
The Book of Mormon is true. It is a book of peace. I appreciate gathering peace from it during a point in my life that is often noisy and void of peaceful tranquility. I appreciate the truth it teaches to fight against the lies that I am tempted to believe that in my insufficiency, I am hopeless, that I am alone, that I am different. This read through the Book of Mormon will always be special to me. I stole Evelyn's scriptures and circled a verse whenever I felt the truth of what it was saying. Here are my verses. I now use them as jumping points from my current study sessions. Delving deeper to study how they are connected to other volumes of scripture has been invaluable to me. Here are my scriptures preceded by the note I wrote in the margin to remind me what it says.

THE WORD OF THE LORD PROTECTS ME 1 Nephi 15:24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

SUBMISSION TO THE PLAN 2 Nephi 26:7 O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: They ways are just.

LET EARTH RECEIVE! 2 Nephi 28: 30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

FAITH IN CHRIST CAN CHANGE ME 2 Nephi 30:7 And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people.

MIRROR OF MERCY Alma 29:10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

FAITH WITHSTANDS EVERY TEMPTATION Alma 37:33 Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.

RESTORED ACCORDING TO DESIRE Alma 41:5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.

KARMA OF GOSPEL Alma 41:14-15 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again. For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner and justifieth him not at all.

GOD PROTECTS US FROM OURSELVES Alma 42:3 Now, we see that the man had become as God , knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God place cherubim and the flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit-

QUICK TO FORGET Alma 46:8 Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity,  and to be led away by the evil one.

HUMILITY IS A CHOICE Alma 62:49 But notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their prosperity, they were not lifter up in the pride of their eyes; neither were they slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did humble themselves exceedingly before him.

MERCY FOR PRAYERFUL Helaman 3:27 Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.

GREAT EVIL TO CAUSE AFFLICTION Helaman 3:34 And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.

YOUR FAITH IS SUFFICIENT 3 Nephi 17:8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

YE KNOW NOT 3 Nephi 18:32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.

SHINING COUNTENANCE OF JESUS 3 Nephi 19:25 And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so whites as the whiteness thereof.

ALTHOUGH HE SHALL BE MARRED 3 Nephi 21:10 But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marrd because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD 3 Nephi 22:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

TRY THE FAITH OF MY PEOPLE 3 Nephi 26:11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.

THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY OF ADAM Mormon 3:20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;

HE THAT IS CRANKY...Mormon 9:14 And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.

HATERS HATE Mormon 9:26 And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.

ASKING IN FAITH, NOT FOR A SIGN Ether 3:10 And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.

BE THE STONE, LET CHRIST TOUCH YOU ether 6:3 And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.

NO POWER FOR SATAN ether 8:26 Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.

Ether 10:28 And never could be a people more blessed than were they, and more prospered by the hand of the Lord. And they were in a land that was choice above all lands, for the Lord had spoken it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I am pretty grateful for aunts who wear matching shirts to dresses that other aunts gave to my daughter. Aunts rock the hah-yows.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Briggs Family Reunion

This reunion happens on the first Saturday in August at SugarHouse park every summer. Ila Briggs is my paternal grandmother. She died when she was 49. Her cousins have children who have children who are my generation but still a lot older than me because Grandma Ila (a twin to Ira) was the youngest of 9 from Lizzie and Frank Briggs. They have been attending these reunions for a while. I loved the pictures of the pictures that I got showing our family through the years. I completely remember the heart SuzanneWear shirts and that trip dad walked into the Ashby Hills tudor style house in Goldsboro, North Carolina and said, "Who wants to go to Utah?" And Camille and I were the only ones home and we packed our clothes and a cooler and dad drove STRAIGHT to Utah. I think it's 40 hours of driving! I remember he had to pee and wouldn't stop because I assume it was keeping him awake. Totally awesome. This summer, Evelyn touched a dead duck (there were quite a few around the pond - totally freaky) and a second cousin, twice removed (how does that all work anyway?) saved her by de-germing her hands before she contaminated us all with dead duck disease. For many reasons, yay for family relationships.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ma-ma-ma-magic, magic, magic!

Cousin summer fun. These kids are so fun. And they are growing up. And they are teaching each other and having fun and what more do you need in the hot weather besides Alpine splash zone and Beepa and a swimsuit and cousins? I can't recall why dad was visiting but he comes so often that recently, there was a 3 week gap and I asked Callie where dad was because he used to come so often. We love seeing him so much. Thank goodness Texas is one flight away for him and that he can always cram into the jumpseat of a plane to make it to us. Standby is NOT for the faint of heart. I remember trying to get home to California and Camille and I were on our own and stuck in DFW. I knew there were a ton of standby's in line and we had already used our D1's so we were not very high priority on the list. So I asked the agent to get us to ORD on the flight that left in 10 minutes because that is also a hub for American Airlines. I knew if we could get to Chicago, we could up our chances of getting home and releasing ourselves from D3 refugee status. So we ran to the other gate, made it to Chicago and got on a flight home. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. What an adventure for a little kid! How did we travel as kids without cell phones? Oh, yeah. Our parents got an 800 number to go straight to our house. Genius. I can't wait for the adventures these cousins will have together. My mom and dad let me and Camille go to Hawaii all by ourselves for 2 weeks. I went to volleyball camp and I assume Millie hit the beaches during the day. Our uncle was stationed there, but gone for training so we got to stay in his apartment and drive his car. What a dream! I remember I went the wrong way on Hwy 1 but the island is a circle and it doesn't take that long to circle back around to Ewa beach, so I just rode it out and we made it home. We hit up PCC and watched a guy climb a palm tree like a monkey. Someone asked where we were from. We told him and he said, "Beautiful girls come from there." Seriously, what an adventure. I have got to be sure to parent by the Spirit and keep in mind the awesome things my parents let me experience. Earth. Is. Cool.

Lines of demarcation

I edited the photos for propriety on the world wide web. I guess I am just fascinated with their tan lines this summer because I don't have them. I am either red or white. No in between. Evelyn did find a magic freckle on my arm the other day, so that's encouraging proof of melanin in my body.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hebgen Lake 2012

What a fun summer! I actually moved everything except the bed, fridge and rocking chair out of the house by myself while Johnny was out of town BEFORE we left for Montana. Don't be too impressed. We had absolutely nothing in Grandview house and all of my family blitzed the big stuff. I got to drive up to Montana by myself and I felt the anticipation of peace that Grandfather Richards said Hebgen Lake provides - a necessary break from the hustle and bustle of normal life. I woke up early Sunday morning after feeding Scott and threw everyone into the car sleeping. Davis stayed awake with me and just sat in the back reading book after book, but everyone else slept all the way through most of Idaho. It is my preferred mode of travel - wake up early and get out the door. We stopped in Rigby to take the sacrament in our pajamas in the foyer. Then we made it.
Hebgen is heaven. It's a break and it's being with family and getting to know aunts and uncles that really are only a few years older than you. It's big family meals together where little kids sneak treats off the table before the prayer. It's birthday parties playing Button, button, who's got the button and dance parties doing the shopping cart and the sprinkler. It's sending your husband off to play frisbee golf with the uncles even though you'd almost rather have him stay to keep the ratio 2:4 on KP (kid patrol) but you send him off anyway because it's also a 7 mile roadbike ride through Yellowstone on your own without any children and that's reciprocation and supporting each other in our separate roles if I ever heard of it. It's drinking ice cold delicious water from the cabin tap - best water on earth. It's gathering for CatchPhrase around the kitchen table with younger cousins who are so clever and growing up so beautifully. It's taking a walk with your boys who are excited out of their minds from seeing a calf on Denny Creek road that escaped past the cattle guard. It's eating lunch on the boat. It's watching your husband teach your son how to catch a squirrel. It's Papa's treasure box of treats. It's hearty crock-pot dinners at the end of a beach day. It's going to PlayMill by yourself and seeing Ellen Rowan and Teresa Nielson there at the same vacation spot you're at. It's the treasure hunt. It's writing and hiding the clues for the treasure hunt. It's watching your kids experience things that you love for their first time. It's sitting together at family firesides in ZAMM cabin and hearing cousins and aunts and uncles bear testimony when you normally would never hear them.
Hebgen is heaven. Zion is about making memories. Families are forever.

The treasure hunt was especially awesome because the treasure was in a plastic chest sealed with a combination lock and held down with a cinder block at the bottom of the lake. Now that I've revealed the end, here's the clues from the beginning. Imagine Van reading them in a Russian pirate voice.

Come here, little pirates. It's time to be brave
I'm sharing a secret I took to me grave
Dread Pirate Richards is my name
Hebgen Lake was mine before you came
To find my treasure, follow each clue
Grab a compass, life jacket and shoes
If you make it to the end
You'll each have a piece of treasure, my friend

This hunt starts where the waves hit the sand
Search the jumping mechanism to find the clue you demand

Now look for an object that rocks back and forth
You'll take about 25 steps due north

The Black Pearl holds it's very own treasure chest
Take off your shoes and search your best

Head for the island where you might spot an owl
Look for a clue covered up by a towel

Look on the beach, X marks the spot
You'll have to dig down. Careful! The sand is hot

Now swim straight out from the dock
Use NOTHING to open up the lock