Bri Colorful

Archive for the ‘The Master’s Hand’ Category

I grew up loving my great-grandma Leola D. Merrill, so much that I have always wanted to name a daughter after her. She passed away when I was younger, and I have yearned to know more about her but just started in on my family history this year. I asked my aunt, grandpa, and mom to share any histories they have from her and they all said they’d look around and write their memories down.

Then yesterday my mom came across (by total chance) a box of cassette and video tapes she had recorded of my grandma Leola sharing the story of her life, stories about living on a farm, the story of her baptism, the story behind the family cabin she and her husband built at Bear Lake that we all continue to visit each summer, and recordings of my maternal grandparents telling stories from their lives as well. In one of the recordings it says she is 90 and she is very old and frail; it may be the last recording of her during her lifetime. I cannot help feeling like it is a blessing to my family right now, especially my mom and me, directly from Father in Heaven! I feel so grateful!

I look forward to helping digitize and transcribe these recordings when I am in Washington with family in late February.



Posted on: June 2, 2012

Tomato blossoms:


I can’t remember if this is squash or cucumber:


We also put tomato cages on our plants (that we started from seed- so proud of these) and laid soaker hoses, pinning them down with Orbit loop stakes:


The peas and beans at the base of my green teepee are really taking off. Do you think I’ll need to thin them though or will they still produce even if I let them go a little crazy?


So excited for these plants!

Super bummed though about these strawberries though:

We think it must be either tarnished plant bug which I am somewhat hopeless of curing (though open to suggestion) or that there might be some problem with the strawberries getting fertilized by each other. I must thank my friend Dana Nash and my sister’s horticulture professor respectively for the diagnoses. It could very well be TPB because we have wild mint (a common TPB host) growing in our driveway. But I couldn’t see any of the little critters on my plants… Hmm.

Now I open it to you to suggest a solution. Anyone know what to do? I’m going to try taking a clipping to the master gardener at the Utah county extension center but I’d appreciate any help with diagnosis or solutions. I’ve not given up to despair for my little berries yet though I’m earnest for their revival. Also, does anyone know, if it is either of the above problem, if it will affect my other plants nearby?


Posted on: April 2, 2012

The tree trimmers came today and hacked away at our yard. As you can see, they’ll still need to come get the stumps, but the difference is substantial!


Location for vegetable and herb garden


Location for squash garden


Thinking about putting the green teepee here (we've gotten permission to take that dilapidated old grill and propane tank to the transfer station.

 A live oak had dropped several saplings along the side of the house and one wild tree looked positively possessed and threatened to take over the back corner of the house (you can see the stump in the last picture). The trimmers hacked it all away. As they worked, light flooded into places it had not visited in years. As they trimmed back bushes, flowers were revealed and given more space to thrive. I couldn’t help thinking of how analogous this is to life. I often allow my life to be overtaken by wild trees, simply allowing seedlings to drop and grow where they land. Every once in a while, I need some trimming… lots of trimming. And when I take a chainsaw to my carelessness, I let in light… lots of light, so that I can grow in all sorts of ways.

Let there be Light!

Last Sunday, Grant gave Bracken a name and a blessing. This is an ordinance in the LDS church, in which a priesthood bearer, in this case, Bracken’s father, gives a baby a new name (their name in this life) and blesses the infant with comfort, guidance, and encouragement at the beginning of his earthly journey. The ordinance is performed at the beginning of a regular church meeting (anyone, member or not, is invited to attend these meetings). The priesthood bearer, often the father of the child being blessed, stands in a circle with a few other priesthood bearers that he has invited to participate (which includes family, close friends, and a bishop) and they each hold the baby with one hand and close the circle with the other. Then the father gives the child a name and blesses the baby with whatever he feels inspired to.

Grant invited a handful of very special people to participate in Bracken’s blessing: Bracken’s grandfathers, Bracken’s great grandfathers, our bishop, and his lifetime friend, David Holladay. The words of the blessing were sweet and powerful. I do not want to share them here as they are sacred to me, but it was a very special moment. Grant got a little chocked up as he blessed our sweet little guy. Both grandfathers described to me Bracken’s reaction to the blessing afterward. They said he was very calm and alert and partway through the blessing his eyes locked on Grant’s face and after a while he looked away with a thoughtful expression as if musing over what his Father had blessed him with.



Many members of our extended family were able to join us in witnessing the blessing. It is a tradition in my mother’s family to attend each others’ baby blessings and baptisms and to get together afterwards. It was so special to have the family that was able to make it there.









I was reading an article by Susan Easton Black about this special ordinance and something she said struck me.

I have found it interesting that in the scriptures a new name is often involved when a covenant relationship is formed. When Adam and Eve were given dominion over the earth (see Gen. 1:28), Adam was given the responsibility of naming the animals (see Gen. 2:19–20). Likewise, in receiving Eve as his wife, Adam named her. (See Gen. 3:20.) God himself, after creating bodies for our first parents, “blessed them, and called their name Adam.” (Gen. 5:2.) Later, when Jehovah entered into a covenant relationship with Abram, he changed Abram’s name to Abraham. (See Gen. 17:5.) The Lord did the same thing with Jacob when He extended to Jacob the same covenant He had made with Abraham. (See Gen. 35:10.) We follow a similar pattern when entering into covenants with Christ in the waters of baptism. At that time, we take upon ourselves the name of Christ, and that becomes the name by which we are called. (See Mosiah 5:7–12.) The higher covenants of the temple also involve the giving and receiving of names. In each of these cases, the one giving the name assumes responsibility for protecting, loving, and nurturing the one receiving the new name. And the recipient of the name, in turn, is to honor the name-giver and follow his counsel.

I italicized this last point she makes. In the case of Bracken’s blessing, Grant, and by extension myself, gave Bracken his new name and so we assume responsibility for protecting, loving and nurturing him. Given the incredibly sweet spirit I can feel from my little guy, this is a great responsibility. I felt the weight of this responsibility settle onto my shoulders as he was put back into my arms after being blessed. He already has and will continue to bring our family much joy.

Funny how it was his blessing day, and I felt so blessed.


Post Post Script: The cute blessing outfit and shoes were made by my mother, Misti Atkinson, and the gorgeous blessing blanket was crocheted by my sister, KristiAnne Atkinson. They are very talented ladies.

Photo of Bri

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