Rugged mountains, open plains, and glistening lakes and rivers make up the state of Montana. In the early 1800s, the Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through that area, looking for a water route to the Pacific Ocean. A lot of the land they explored remains the same even today.
As far as you can see, wide-open, gently rolling fields surround Ryker (9) and Creighton (7) Davison’s home in Highwood, Montana. The view from their home certainly fits the state’s nickname, “Big Sky Country.” Their nearest neighbors are Grandma and Grandpa Davison, who live about a mile away. The family, along with their grandparents, plant and harvest over 5,000 acres (2,024 ha) of wheat, barley, canola, millet, and safflower. With no neighbors or friends living close by, the Davison family does a lot of things together.
Creighton and Ryker especially enjoy family home evening with their parents, David and Libby, and their three brothers, Cole (15), Asher (14), and Grant (2). The boys like the lessons from the Family Home Evening Resource Book, the scriptures, and the Friend. Ryker always enjoys reading in the Old Testament about David and Goliath. This event helps him know that with Heavenly Father’s help, the little guy can win. And from the Book of Mormon, Creighton likes the story of when the people of Ammon buried their weapons, and their sons, the two thousand stripling warriors, had to fight for them. Both boys appreciate family prayer and know that it helps their family stay close.
Swimming and bowling are their favorite family-night activities. When the weather is cold, they like to swim at the college pool in nearby Great Falls. In the summertime, they enjoy swimming in Belt Creek or Highwood Creek. “But,” cautions Ryker, “we have to watch out for the snakes at Belt Creek so we can step over them!” Eating ice cream after the activity is another fun part of the evening for Creighton.
The Davisons travel about 20 miles (32 km) to attend the Belt Branch, Great Falls East Stake. In Primary, Creighton is a CTR; Ryker is a Valiant. Primary is extra special because it is usually the only time the boys get to see some of their friends on the weekends and during the summer months when school is out.
During the week, all the school-age Davison brothers ride the school bus. Kindergarten through the twelfth grade meet in the same building. Creighton attends a combined first- and second-grade class in which he enjoys making frogs out of paper plates, participating in P.E., playing soccer, and coloring anything that is interesting to him. In his combined fourth- and fifth-grade class, Ryker likes to do math, create things in arts and crafts, and play sports, particularly football and basketball.
Ryker and Creighton are good friends and share many of the same interests. They have fun jumping on the trampoline, watching TV, and riding bikes. Both boys think green beans and pizza make a wonderful meal. And Creighton says, “A dirt cup (chocolate pudding with cookie crumbs and a candy worm on top) makes a great dessert.”
Chores are something else the boys have in common. They share a bedroom and are responsible for keeping it clean. Mopping the hardwood floors is fun because they have cleaning races! Both boys do a good job of tending two-year-old Grant. Each of them also helps care for the family’s dog, Rocky, and two cats, Panther and Tass.
The two brothers have separate interests as well. Ryker has a talent for music, and he plays the piano and recorder. He often listens to music and then tries to figure out how to play it without written music. “Practicing was fun until I was told that I had to do it,” he said. Creighton likes to work with his dad. Just to make sure that his dad doesn’t forget him, he sets his own alarm. Riding the swather that cuts the hay and riding the combine that thrashes the grain are his favorite work activities. He doesn’t even mind wearing a protective respirator mask when doing this dusty work with Dad.
Following the teachings of the Savior is important to both boys. Ryker tries to be kind to his friends and teachers. He often worries about his friends who don’t have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, so he tries to set a good example for them. Telling the truth and being nice to his friends is important to Creighton. Both boys know that if they say their prayers, Heavenly Father will listen and answer them.
Ryker and Creighton love their family very much and are grateful to be a part of it. And their family loves and appreciates all that the boys do for them. The family knows that they can depend on Ryker to do the right thing because he is a responsible young man who is very trustworthy. They are also thankful for the peacefulness he brings to the family. Without Creighton’s reminders, they might sometimes forget to have family home evening and family prayer. He also helps keep track of where each person is at all times. The Davison family is grateful for the many ways in which Creighton and Ryker make their family stronger.