I just spent the past two weekends immersed in the Boy Scout leadership training known as Wood Badge. It was a fabulous experience. I met some wonderful new friends, learned some new leadership skills, and got re-acquainted with a tent! There is a lot of lore associated with the Boy Scouts. It has a very rich culture all its own, and I found myself wanting more of it. There is something about the uniform (I am now the proud owner of my first Scout uniform since I last owned one at age14), the games, the silly songs, the campfire skits, the badges. It is all about teaching young men citizenship and character and learning to love the outdoors. It is common sense training packaged in khakis and a neckerchief. And the training is not just about teaching young men how to be leaders. It teaches unity and teamwork and love of life and reverence for God. It helps in all aspects of life - work, home, and family. I remember sitting there one day thinking to myself that corporate executives would pay thousands of dollars for this kind of leadership training. Yet there we were, sitting in this country lodge, being taught true principles on a shoestring budget. We had a campfire program every night, flag ceremonies night and morning, two interfaith services, and days filled with songs and cheers and games (all with insightful purpose). I would recommend it to anyone, whether you are involved in the Boy Socuts or not. By the way, they train you using the "patrol" method (that is, you do eveything as a team, learning that you can get much more done together than you can by yourself). I was in the Fox Patrol. Go Foxes!
I can't tell you how happy and proud I am right now. I just returned from taking our Harrison children back to their dad's house after having them spend a couple of hours with us for a special Mother's Day celebration. (The regular schedule calls for them to be over there this weekend). We had a nice lunch together (hambugers on the BBQ grill) along with Trish's Mom & Dad, Carl and Carol Jean Paulsen. But before lunch we participated in a very special Sacrament Meeting. Trish was the final speaker and her topic was the Family. She spoke primarily from the Declaration on the Family. In all honesty, it was as good a talk as I have ever heard from any pulpit on the issue! To use a baseball metaphor, she just knocked the ball out of the park! I love and respect her sooooo much. But that wasn't all. Immediately preceding her talk, the Harrison kids, Trish, and I sang "A House Becomes a Home" for the Sacrament meeting special musical number. Carol Jean accompanied us. It was a lot of fun. It also set the stage for Trish's wonderful address. It has been a fantastic day so far, filled with the spirit of family and love. But there is more to come. There's a Paulsen Mother's Day celebration in Draper later today. Stay tuned.
We attended little Keaton Al Riggs' blessing last week in Lehi. He is such a cute little boy! Dad Micah did a great job with the blessing. Keaton's blessing was one of six (!) blessings in that ward, leaving about 15 minutes total for testimonies. Delicious refreshments were to be had afterwards at the Micah & Amanda Riggs home. The Lord continues to bless our extended family!
The First Annual Al & Cleo Riggs Reunion was a smashing success! Held at the humble abode of Robin & Trish on May 3, it was notable for the great attendance. We had 100% representation from all families (even Val, who was there in spirit!). In fact, as far as we could tell, there were only 5 extended family members NOT there. The food was good, there was a lot of love and re-bonding, and the famous Riggs Home Theater was well used. But most importantly, we remembered Al & Cleo through shared stories and testimonies of their love for us and for each other. Thank you all for making this event so successful!
J.P. and I just came from seeing the new Marvel Comics superhero movie "Iron Man." It was very good! Having grown up on Marvel Comics, I can honestly say that this is the best adaptation of a Marvel hero since the first Spider-man movie. Iron Man is a perfect summer movie, full of action, superhero fun, and, by the way, great acting. Robert Downey, Jr. is perfect as Tony Stark. And if you go, stay until after the credits. There is another scene. 'Nuff said!
As part of my role at the Salt Lake Chamber I was involved to some extent with the Delta / Northwest merger. When the Delta CEO came to SLC two weeks ago his advance man asked Lane Beattie and I whether or not he should meet with the LDS Church's First Presidency while he was here. We said that not only should he meet with them, but that the Second Counselor was a former airline pilot. It turns out that at the meeting with the Church leaders, the Delta CEO offered President Dieter Uchtdorf a chance to fly some of the Delta flight simulators the next time President Uchtdorf was in Atlanta. Watch the news the next time President Uchtdorf has an assignment in Atlanta!
Trish and I have boldly entered the 21st Century by starting our own Riggs family blog. We are calling it Rob 'n Trish's blog. (Original, n'est-ce pas?) We hope that you will all be able and willing to forgive our initial mistakes in creating this. We will post family news, photos, videos, interests - you know, the usual stuff. I may also use this as an opportunity to talk public policy, politics, Utah, the LDS Church, sports, and a whole host of other things. In any event, we hope you have some fun with us.
A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, "darkness" on the walls of his cell. - C.S. Lewis
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote! - Benjamin Franklin
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion. It is easy in solitude to live after one's own. But the great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of his character. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Men occasionally stumble over the truth but most of them pick themselves up as if nothing happened. - Winston Churchill
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. - John Adams