Uncle Matt, Randy Erikson (home teacher), Sean Williams, Dad, Papa, Uncle Garrett, Uncle Adam, Uncle Ryan, Great Uncle Randy, Bishop Mike Gardner
(Grandpa had left to change for the baseball game.)The day that we had anticipated for the last 8 years had come. Olivia turned 8 and chose to be baptized by her father and become an official member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Tons of family came for the special day. All of the Claycamp side of the family drove down from California and Uncle Adam from Utah. Grandpa Bill drove down by himself from his home in Red Bluff, CA and even ALL of the Richins' family (Grandma Claycamp's sister) came down from Orem as well as our dear friends the Williams' from Pleasant Grove, UT. So much love and support for one very fun day.
Grandpa Bill was first to arrive Friday morning, with the Richins' family arriving friday afternoon We spent the day playing games and catching up in true Richins fashion. Voni and I took Livi to
rehearse her violin song and Randy, along with Katie and
Stephanie took Aaron to his first baseball practice. That night we all feasted on pizza and salad and more games and delicious caramel popcorn (that was intended for the baptism, which didn't make it that far). Uncle Randy drove all
the "kids" to frozen yogurt at U-swirl for MORE dessert! It was a late night with everyone else trickling in at different times in the evening. The Claycamps stayed with us while both Grandpas, VanDurens and Reasbecks all got rooms at the Santa Fe Station Casino.
Saturday morning was kicked off with Olivia's opening ceremonies for girls fast pitch softball. Cody, Logan and some of the Richins clan joined us for the event. They were impressed by the beautiful fields and family support that is so evident in all the team shirts being worn by parents. Off to home for lunch and then back to the field for the first of her two games for the day. We could not have asked for better weather. Everyone was able to be there, even the Williams had arrived at this point, and we all cheered on her team, "The Drama Queens"! (Coach, Jeremy Lucero former St. Louis Cardnials.)
Time was of the essence, so we grabbed Livi, just a little early and headed off to the church building.
I was amazed at how well the jumper fit Olivia. I guess I thought that she wasn't really "big" enough to be baptized. I told her I didn't know what was more strange, "She was 8, or I had a daughter who was 8 years old"?!
While Bill prepared, Sean got Aaron ready and I helped Olivia. We did her hair so that it could get wet and we wouldn't have to do anything to it after and then go to her 2nd game from there. Pictures were taken and the baptism got under way, running only a little bit behind. (Poor Reasbecks, even when it's not their fault...entirely.) The program was wonderful. Everyone who was asked to participate was able to do so. Cody even learned how to conduct a rather difficult song so that we could all sing it. A precious moment was when all the cousins stood to sing, by Livi's request, "I Like to look for Rainbows". 8 boys, and only 1 little girl, Emily (Abby was too little), made me smile to see how lucky our family is to have so much potential priesthood. I knew then, that Grandma C. was smiling on us, she was there. As Livi would say, "in true Ellison form" she was dunked twice, just like her dad was. Grandpa shared with her that at least Dad didn't make her hit her head like he had! The talks were wonderful and Angie's talk on the Spirit had me very emotional. I don't know if hers was more than extra pregnancy hormones but to me, she was very much a part of Livi's battle with cancer that I know she felt of the spirit that had so richly blessed our daily lives when we needed it most.
Livi played a beautiful song, (her favorite, I love to see the Temple) on her violin along with Sister Janet Chamberlain and her daughter, Ariel, with Sister Andrea Scholer accompanying on the piano.
Afterwards was photos and a change of clothes and it was back off to the ball fields. We met up with everyone at Livi's restaurant choice, Macayo's Mexican Cuisine.
What a great DAY!
On Sunday, Bill and I prepared a wonderful brunch for everyone before 1:00 church and then yummy pulled pork sandwiches and homemade root beer for dinner, complete with root beer floats and a "Better than Robert Redford" cake for dessert. Our friends, the McMillans, Kristi's cousin, joined us at the baptism and for dinner on Sunday. Lawrence Chubbs, a friend of mine and one of Garrett's mission companions from Colorado was able to join us for the events from Livi's baptism on. (He lives in town with his family.)
It was so wonderful to have the love of everyone who was able to come and participate. With Grandma not able to be there, the added love really means a lot.