Children

Sundays at the Brineys

One of our nicer fans asked what Sundays look like at the Briney home so I thought I’d share a typical Sunday with you.

Sundays revolve around the children. 

After breakfast, we have a bit of free time.  We encourage the children to read scriptures or books about the gospel in their free time.  They can choose what to read.  Usually, Jacob is found on a couch reading an Action Bible (think Bible in comic book form) to younger siblings.  Often, the other older children are doing the same thing (Laurelei and Brielle are commonly caught doing the same thing) but Jacob seems to be the child most frequently found guilty of reading to younglings on Sunday. Sometimes, one of the mammas has scripture power with all of the children so they all read scriptures together like they do on normal weekdays.  Often, I’m preparing a lesson and often, one of the other mammas is doing the same thing.  Whoever is left is preparing a meal, helping ensure meal clean up happens, etc.

At some rigid point in time, like, maybe 9:30 or 10:30 or 11:00, or something like that, we start Sunday School.  April has been in charge of Sunday School for several months but recently, we’ve started having Angela and Auralee take turns running Sunday School.  We open with prayer, sing hymns, and then do a lesson geared toward the whole family. Those lessons focus on general gospel teachings and principles common to Christianity and Mormonism as a whole.  Sometimes, April has little finger plays or “lap time” games for the children to choose intermediate fun songs to keep them focused.  At another rigid point in time, say an hour or more (or maybe, usually, less) after that lesson is over, we excuse the little children to go play somewhere quietly.  I don’t know what they do when they leave but I suspect it is random, ever-changing, and toddler-level entertainment or maybe not.  Whatever it is, they are quiet … or they are reminded to stay quiet until they do.

After they leave, I (Drew) typically teach a lesson for the older kids. Often (for months on end without intermission), those lessons are based on the life of Christ.  We go into deeper issues, discuss the meanings of Greek words, various manuscripts of the verses that have different renderings, discuss differing ideologies of Jesus’ time, first century Jewish culture, Hebrew symbolism, contemporary Rabbinical teachings, apocryphal writings that shed light on various passages, and things like that. Occasionally, I do lessons on other topics.  Today, I presented a lesson from my annotated D&C 76 project Angela and I published last year.

After Sunday School, we have lunch.  Again, we follow a super rigid schedule but we try to start sacrament early enough that we can still watch our show with the children (and apologize for the awful example we have been to the world).  In between, we have free time.  Right now for instance, Angela is reading books to the little children, Auralee is feeding a child (or children), I’m writing a blog post, and my older children are preparing some materials so that I can give a lesson on world building in novel writing (we teach our children through the Writing in Excellence curriculum and they’ve been insatiable learning more about writing. At least three are publishing their writings on Wattpad – thanks, Karissa, for pioneering that pathway to becoming a better writer).

For sacrament meeting, we sing hymns, and give extemporaneous (unprepared) talks as do most all Mormon fundamentalists before and after partaking of the sacrament.  When in Utah, we attend meetings with other fundamentalists from time to time.  We also invite other families to our meetings so we can fellowship with like minded people and, since we all believe in extemporaneous talks, they can share their testimonies with our children and visa versa.  Outside of Utah, there really aren’t other fundamentalist Mormons to meet with so … we don’t do that when traveling outside of Utah. 

We have discussed attending various Christian churches on occasion so our children can see what that is like but we haven’t done that much yet. I think it’s important to teach children about different religious beliefs so we do discuss various interpretations of scriptures already.  I attended a lot of different churches growing up and that helped open my mind enough to keep searching for more truth.  I want my children to have open minds as well.

When watching the show, we usually gather around a laptop and a Bose bluetooth speaker.  Unitedly, we adults cringe at each scene and remark about how a statement was out of context or how an eye-roll wasn’t in response to the comment depicted on the show and … remark about what a great job the Alldredges have been doing at showing a good example to the world of what our lifestyle is really supposed to be like.  The children laugh and occasionally face palm when one of the parents says something … less than exemplary.

Before or after that (depending on when we have sacrament), we have more free time that we’ve been trying to evolve into family game time so we can spend more unstructured fun time with the children.  Angela and I also race through the (now thousands) of tweets to answer questions and prepare episode round up blog posts.  Frequently, I’m taken to the side by someone (or several someones who take turns rotating) asking me to help them with their challenges in life, whether that is with a sibling, a sister wife, a friend at school, or an extended family member.  Sometimes we do Facetime with a grandma or call friends or family. 

Before going to bed, like every other day, we gather together for “happy things” and family prayer.  Happy things is a tradition I started where we each take turns telling everyone else what made us happy that day.  I highly recommend the tradition.  It ends the day on a good note, it helps parents identify ever-evolving love languages with the children (as well as challenges they may be having), and it helps younger children develop memory skills.  It also helps us focus on God’s blessings in our lives instead of our problems.  We ask if anyone has a friend who is in need of our prayers and pray for them as a family.

Ideally, I spend a good portion of my Sundays studying the gospel.  Often, I don’t – that depends on how much counseling is needed in the family any given Sunday.  When I do get a couple/few hours to study, I’m often studying something in preparation to teach a lesson to the older children or to prepare something for publication that I believe like-minded people are missing in their gospel studies. If I don’t get time on Sunday to prepare a lesson, that leaves Monday through Saturday to catch up so that isn’t a problem but I prefer to use my study time on Sundays to prepare for those lessons.

If I left out anything significant, maybe one of my wives will point it out in the comment section below … 

You can feel free to ask more specific questions below as well.  

God bless.

~Drew

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25 thoughts on “Sundays at the Brineys

  1. I am not in a polygamist relationship nor is it for me. I am married with 3 kids (11,10, and 2). However, i am a huge fan of the show and i am all for every family living the way they want to as long as its not hurting anyone. I just watched episode 6 and i couldnt wait to see if you had to move your family or not. So i took to the internet to look. What hurt me the most watching this show is living in a state where your kids would not be able to claim you as “dad”, i couldnt imagine the hurt that could cause for the children and Angela and Arilee and you as their father(sorry if names are misspelled). And the pain Angela and Arilee must be feeling to have to hide their true identities from everyone else in the world and to downplay their role in the family as an aunt or nanny is so upsetting and to have to live in hiding just to stay with their family, i want to say how strong those two mothers are to do what it takes to keep the family together but NO MOTHER should have to risk losing their kids when its just a state law, its a no brainer to move to a state where you can live free with your family. April, i really hope that it is TLC just portraying you the way they do for ratings and that you really are willing to bend a little for the other two mothers who have to hide every single day. Arliee and Angela, you two are amazing strong women and are amazing mothers. Thank you for giving others an inside look on your life Drew, I am so glad to see(hopefully the internet is correct) that you moved your family. #isupportyou

    1. They have all worked part time in the past. When they do work, it is usually from home. Auralee is the only one besides me that is working (employment) presently.

  2. Hi Briney Family!
    I am an older woman in a monogamous marriage with children and grandchildren. Polgomy isn’t for me, but I don’t have a problem with people who voluntarily live a polgimous lifestyle. I commend you on how happy all of your children are and how well behaved they are. The wives have some obvious disconnect with each other. I do hope for your families sake they can begin to draw closer to one another to be the support system a sister wife needs. I know we only see a snapshot of your life and I appreciate you sharing your family with us. It makes those of us who do not practice polygamy have a better idea of what polgomy actually means & how it works in a family that practices voluntary polygamy in a committed and healthy relationship.

  3. Loved learning about polygamy, and the benefits it has along with it. Though you mentioned the less than exemplary and how the alldreges are doing, each family is different. Your family is still strong together even with daily struggles of marriage in a polygamous family. I enjoyed watching the show! You have a very beautiful loving family!

  4. Welcome to Oregon Drew and Family what city did you guys move to your going to love Oregon so much to do and it’s so beautiful.

      1. Welcome to the Metro Area, Brineys! I am deeply moved by the sacrifices you’ve made to try to break through the public ignorance about plural marriage and our complacency with the criminalization of consensual adult relationships by the state of Utah. Even knowing how reality show editing can work, you made yourselves deeply vulnerable in the hopes it could help show us that pleural families are not inherently abusive or unhealthy, just made of human beings, loving and flawed, doing their best, just like monogamists. Your children should be proud. And can I also recommend PlayDatePDX, The Childrens’ Museum, and, for an awesome family vacation, Great Wolf Lodge a couple of hours north!

        1. Thank you for the recommendations! We went to OMSI and the gardens but haven’t seen any other large attractions yet. God bless.

  5. Hello,
    I know very little about the Mormon church’s views on polygamy, except that the current view of it in the mainstream church is that practices will be ex communicated. I read today about a sect of Mormonism called AUB. What are your family’s beliefs and what part of the faith do those beliefs correspond to?

    Blessings,
    Charlyn

    PS Welcome to Oregon! You and your family will love it here.

    1. We were members of AUB for a time. I’m not certain I entirely understand your question. We have thousands of beliefs. ;^) We are considered fundamentalist Mormons, which means we adhere to the original teachings of the founders of Mormonism (as opposed to mainstream Mormonism that follows a living prophet who is not always consistent with original teachings). Among fundamentalist Mormons, beliefs vary on various details but there is a large core of beliefs that are very similar, if not identical, among different groups/independents. If that doesn’t answer your question, give me another shot and I’ll try harder!

  6. I really enjoy watching the show. Your family is my favorite. I agree with the other comments that all families should be free to live the way they want. I hope Oregon brings you much happiness and joy. God bless!

  7. Thank you for answering my question about what teachings of Mormonism your family adheres to.
    I had one more unrelated question, if it’s alright. I am a beginning freelance writer who is also working on a memoir. I would be very interested in writing a review of your new book. If you would be willing to speak with me briefly to answer some questions about the story and your inspiration for writing it, etc, please let me know. Either way, best of luck to you and yours!

    Charlyn

  8. Welcome to Oregon. You need to visit my town, Woodburn, when we have our tulip festival. It’s beautiful!

    My question is did you think filming the tv show would expose you to the point where you would have had to move? I don’t understand government or others imposing their own beliefs onto other people, and I’m so sorry that happened. To each their own!

    Your family is lovely, and I think you’ll love Oregon. I hope the children are getting situated and enjoy saying, “Dad!” openly!!!

    You are a hop, skip and a jump from the beach, desert, mountains and so much more! Portland Saturday Market, Multnomah Falls, the Rose Garden, Mt Hood and Lincoln City are some of my favorites!

    1. Thank you – we knew before we started filming that we’d have to move out of state if we did the show. I advised Kody Brown of that detail years ago when he first went live on tv. He took his chances and was under investigation for prosecution. We didn’t want to play that game so we moved preemptively. We love Oregon’s beauty and the children are super happy here. Thanks for the recommendations – we’ll be visiting some of them soon for sure. God bless

    1. Not right now. We need to have everyone in harmony before we’ll consider adding to the family. That could take months or years, we don’t know.

  9. Welcome to Oregon! So glad you can live open here and your children can call you Dad! Hope that helps the family dynamics. Oregon is a very non judgemental state.

  10. Hey Drew! I love watching your show and am deeply hurt that you guys are being judged and prosecuted for wanting to follow what you feel Gods calling and leading you to do. I am a newly baptized LDS member and truly understand your beliefs. I am just wondering what your thoughts are on what is happening with plural marriages in Hildale, UT and in Colorado city, AZ. I feel that since there is corruption going on in those main FLDS towns that that is what heavily weights on why people see poligomy In the way they have been. Are you guys thinking the corruption in those areas is false or how do you stand with all of that? I hope your having a great week:)

    1. Thank you for your support. Yes, the FLDS have absolutely decimated public opinion of polygamists and the media has gone to great lengths to make that the only association available for the public. That is why we went public, to counter those prejudicial associations.

  11. I am fascinated with the concept of polygamy, although it is definitely not for me. Watching your family was very interesting as all three wives seem smart and progressive. However, I was really bothered by the seeming manipulation April (your original wife) seems to emanate. Why does she convey such a snotty, rude character? I don’t understand why she agreed to polygamy when she doesn’t seem to even like the other two wives. I seriously feel bad for Aurilee and Angela!! I couldn’t even handle being around her and have my concerns for your family’s future with that kind of attitude from April.

  12. I love that the entire show just serves to show the world that Polygamy isn’t all just psychos like Warren Jeffs. That there are women, and men, that openly choose this lifestyle. They know the risks, the possible potholes in the road, maybe not all but certainly most, and still choose to embark upon it. I do love that I found your show this past week and I look forward to following your now “very public” journey. Thank you so much for letting us into your lives <3

  13. I am intrigued by this show and by your family. That said, I do think that a lot of the scenes play like a soap opera. April seems like a very, very unpleasant and conniving woman–though I acknowledge that that might be the editing. If it is an accurate depiction of her, I don’t see why the other two women sit by and take it. AuraLee and Angela appear to have wonderful qualities and kind and genuine spirits. I find them to be interesting and I truly cringe every time April opens her mouth–she’s basically the equivalent of Robin Brown on Sisterwives. Hopefully watching the show back will provide her some insight on how she might improve herself and thus her relationships.

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