A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.

From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.

In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.

Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.

Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.

We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.

As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

for prayer

First of all- the open house was amazingly awesome and we owe much thanks for that. Second, teaching is incredible, I am so glad I am not nannying any more!

This is what is on my heart- it is long...

I don’t really talk much at all about my childhood because- to put it lightly- it was not a good one. Never can I imagine starting anything I write with “I Crystal, having been born of goodly parents…” but even so, I love my mother and fathers very much. I especially try to do things to show my mom I care and that all I really want is to see her proud of me. As it is, however, I am not sure I will ever see that come to pass. I will keep trying to make her like me in some way as long as I live, though. It is because of these failed attempts, I am convinced that I have many insecurities and anxieties…

That being said, I was born to Dianna Hart, age 17 and one month and James A Scott, 19 and a half 31 years and one week ago. My mother was not married to James Scott, and in fact, their association can to pass after she was already pregnant with me. The plan was that I would be given up for adoption, but as the story was told (and I only heard it one time as I was eavesdropping at about age 9), my “dad” begged my mom not to give me up and eventually they were married- by the time my brother Jason was born- a mere 11 months later. I never had my mother’s maiden name as my own- I know that many born into the situation that I was do not have that luxury.

My dad (and now my “dad”) was always a really great father. I remember him sitting on the steps to our house one summer night with me and my two brothers, Jason and David singing silly songs for hours- songs that he repeated and repeated so often that now I can still recall everything in those songs. He also taught me pig latin- I was efficient by the time I was 4. My mom left my dad for the first time when I was five and after a few months, my grandparents Hart came for us and we lived with them for several months before my dad came and retrieved us again. About 6 months later, my mom came back- on Christmas day in fact. I still remember our presents from that year- I got a loom to weave nylon bands into potholders and Jason and David each got a blue race car with a yellow stripe down the center, after you rolled it back across the floor and pushed the tiny yellow button on the top and in the center, the car would zoom forward. We were really poor, but I did not know. We were all ridiculed at school and one day (before my mom came back) I asked my dad if we were poor- someone at school had asked me that and I did not know the answer. He told me that yes, we were indeed poor. That was first grade and ever since then, I have suffered greatly from inferiority and the notion that I am not as good as those around me. That only worsened with time.

When I was seven, my mom and dad split up for good. My dad never hurt any of us, but he did hurt my mom and I remember sneaking out in the middle of the night on a couple occasions to call the police on him for hurting my mom. We never had a phone until I was in high school- or a microwave, for that matter.

My mom hurt me for the first time when I was 7 for being outside when she told me to stay inside. She spotted me as she came down the sidewalk and when she came into the door I had just come into, she slammed me into the wall. The next day, I had a bruise over the entire right side of my face- ugly and purple. As I had been getting myself ready for school and walking there alone since I was six, I did the same that day. When the teacher asked me what happened, I told the truth. Later that week, I came down with pneumonia (for the second time in 6 months) and my mom got a visit at work about my injuries. After school the day I got sick, I came home to an empty house- my dad was out for work on the oil fields and my mom and 2 brothers were not home. I fell asleep on the sofa under a crocheted blanket. I woke up 3 days later when my grandma scott and the police came into the house to find me very sick and abandoned. I lived with my grandma for a few months, while my mother ran off with my step-father and 2 brothers. My grandma was going to adopt me, but when my mom found out, she came and got me. She married my step-father and he was pure evil to my mom, my brothers and to me- especially to Jason and I. Remember the pitbull Chong? My step-father killed her in front of me- with a board. He often would take out the same aggression on Jason and I. Jason has many severe issues due to that. Somehow I ended up ok. I give that glory to the Lord—our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have always turned to Him and felt of His love, even when I was a little girl of 10 after a failed attempt to hang myself. In this mix though, came 2 precious souls- Joshua and Michael, my two youngest brothers. I raised them until we were put into foster care when they were 3 and 2. My mom and step-father were not often home (thankfully) and I was the one to take care of them and Jason and David as well.

Since 1989, Jason has been institutionalized for rage-related bipolar disorder, but he has been out for almost 2 years now. He married in April and I thought things would finally settle down for him, but today I had the most awful of phone calls from my mom.

After discussing my grandfather- who is suspected to have bone and possibly brain cancer in addition to kidney and lung cancer, my mother told me that my “dad” had cancer too.

I have not been as good about being any sort of daughter than I should be. When I found out when I was 10 about my “Real father” I felt so betrayed and have struggled greatly with my identity and the burden of being unwanted by my biological father. I saw him 2 times- the first time right before I went to boot camp for the Marine Corps and the second time- as he lie dead in his casket the week before my graduation from Mary Baldwin College. I saw my “dad” in March of 2004 just before I became single. I went to my uncle’s funeral and he was there- I told Valerie what a great dad he was to me when I was little and told her that he knows the best silly songs in front of him… rather than to him. I have not really talked at all to him since then. When I called him today, I just began to cry and cry- much like now. He was a good dad to me when I was little and perhaps because I was 7 when he left, I remember what it was like to have a good father for a moment of my life… I also think that my brothers do not remember that as part of their lives- or in the case of Michael and Joshua- they never had that. My dad has anal cancer and that is really an ugly one… and he has no health insurance. I do not know what they are going to do. I myself feel like I want to do something tangible, but I do not know what that is.

In addition to finding out this about my dad- I finally got my brother Jason’s phone number- he is already going through a divorce from his wife who cheated on him and he is so miserable. All he wants is her back and she cheated on him- that is what being raised like we were does. It makes you do afraid of being abandoned again that you would rather be abused but with someone. I thank God that I have such a loyal, sweet, kind, wonderful husband more like Christ Himself than any person I have ever met…

In addition to this, I found out Joshua has been arrested for selling marijuana and he has 2 little girls, age 2 and 1 and his 1 year old (Brianna) spends much time hospitalized because of strange infections that never seem to go away.

Also, David has been having problems with paranoia lately.

Finally, my littlest brother is going to be a father in March and he thinks the best thing to do in order to take care of his girlfriend and infant is to enlist in the Marine Corps! I can not even pretend that I think that is a good idea. I hated the USMC and got out (thankfully, though it was not easy) and we were not at endless war with Iraq. He is supposed to swear in on Monday, but thank goodness I talked to him at-length at why I despised the marines and hopefully he will not swear in. I feel very strongly that that would be a very bad decision for him and after talking to him, I know he is very nervous about the idea as well but trying to do something “right” for his new family. I pray he prays and gets a clear indication as to what to do. He is so precious to me and I remember him standing on the porch crying when I left for boot camp from my grandparents and I do not want him to go! The marines are first sent off into combat and they are already short soldiers and as an enlisted 7 foot man, I think they would ship him off to war as soon as he finished recruit training.

The reason I post this is because my heart is so incredibly burdened and all those I love in my family need your prayers. Please pray.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

Family - I know Thanksgiving Day is a few months away but some of you may need to request time off or begin planning travel sooner than others. We are going to have dinner on Friday instead of Thursday because of travel plans for some. We are so excited to have so many family members here!! Also, for those who will not be flying, will you please bring your air mattress if you have one. We have two queen and one single. Mom and dad will need one and if Les and Alex come they will need the other. If only we had a real bed for everyone. Just some things to think about. Love you all!!
The Croshaw's in Cleveland

Friday, August 24, 2007

To the Happy Couple, 60 years and still holding hands

You are our inspiration. We hope you have a happy day, and many, many more years togther--on this earth, that is. We love you. Debby and David

Road Rage

While we’re on the subject of how twisted the world is, here’s another example. I read a little clip in the newspaper today about a man who stabbed another man repeatedly with a screwdriver - over a parking spot. (Don’t worry, it’s nowhere near where I live or work.) Apparently, one dude was taking too long to pull out of the spot, and the other dude snapped. Honestly, now. We’ve all had our fair share of road rage, and I’ve seen some pretty extreme cases out here. But this takes it to a whole new level.

How do people lose control of themselves like that? It reminds me of that talk mom sent out to everyone, the BYU-Hawaii devotional that talks about how we are free to act for ourselves. We have all been given the ability and responsibility to choose what we think about, which is a major part of our agency. Just being aware of where our thoughts are leading us, and taking control of them, is extremely empowering.

In this day and age, people are constantly trying to pin responsibility on anyone or anything but themselves. They want to live life their way – yet they shy away from any consequences. I would venture a guess that the perpetrator in this case would say it was the other guy’s fault that he went to such extremes. But we know better. We are responsible for and in control of our own actions, and this begins with our thoughts. Everyone think about this, next time you feel like yelling at that jerk who cut you off.

Love you all.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Maybe it's the Hokie in me....

Am I the only one who finds it horribly ironic that the 50 dogs that were recovered at Michael Vick's house in Virginia are going to be euthanized if they are not claimed or adopted? What is PETA protesting about again? I think that PETA like to wear the sandwich boards and hold signs but don't like to do any work. It's easy to point fingers and pass judgement from the background. They don't like the "unethical" treatment of animals, but they won't actually go in there and care for them.
I guess now would be the time that I should say how terrible I think it is the Mike Vick did this (allegedly.) I think he deserves everything he has coming to him. If he's guilty of this crime then he deserves the punishment. I guess his momma didn't love him or something. Now we get to listen to the media, who of course know everything there is to know, debate the psychology behind a millionaire pro football player from the ghetto being a dog fighting ringleader. I bet he's into cat juggling too, that sick freak!
Crasy world. Someone ought to sell tickets.
I just think it's ironic, that's all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another Fabulous August Birthday Girl!!! Crystal Michelle Croshaw

Crystal sent some pictures of when she was younger. I'm sure you'll all enjoy them!

Crystal!!! Welcome to the family and Happy Birthday to you. We hope you have a happy day. Thanks for being such a wonderful wife to Matt, and for adding another beautiful granddaughter to the mix, and on top of all that, for being an incredible, caring, loving woman. If you happen to have a couple of baby/youth photos you would like to add, we would all love to see you then.

"It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me." - Ellen Glasgow

We all love and remember you. Happy Birthday.

David and Debby

A little lesson on communism, right here in the US of A.....

So, Grace starts preschool this week. She is so excited and it is so nice that Oklahoma offers free preschool to all 4 year olds, (well, if you call paying an 8.5% sales tax, among others, free). Anyway, I had to go out and get all of her school supplies and at the bottom of the list there is a note that says, "do not put your child's name on any of the school supplies because they will be shared by everyone in the class". Now, I don't have a problem with sharing tissues and clorox wipes, but crayons and watercolors? And it isn't even really sharing because sharing implies ownership. The kids have to give their supplies to the governing body, teachers, and the teachers dispense the supplies to everyone at their own discretion. Um...that is a little creepy and a little too socialistic for me. This is the very first lesson we teach our extremely impressoinable children the minute they start school. Can you say "indoctrination"?! Hillary must be so proud. It is ironic that this happens in schools run by the United States government.

Now, I know that I may be overreacting a tad bit, but when I was shopping for the supplies I didn't buy anything expensive or with personal touches, everything was generic and basic, which is what I imagine would happen in a socialistic society. I say we need to give our children some ownership in their education by allowing them to have their own supplies, kept in a little cubby or something at school. Teach them about sharing what is truly theirs, now forcing them to share something that isn't really theirs because it was given to the teachers to dispense at will. I understand that there may be some kids who cannot afford all of their supplies, and I would have absoloutly no problem donating a few dollars to a fund that could pay for their supplies. I can understand why some people choose to homeschool.

I really don't want to have this adversarial feeling toward my children's schools, and I can say that that feeling was gone the minute I met Grace's teachers, they seem amazing, but I think we have to be ever vigilant and aware of what our children are learing at school, even the not so obvious stuff, so that we can counter anything negative at home.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Picture request from Grandma

Hi everybody, Grandma wanted me (Dana) to post on here that she needs a picture of Valerie and Maggie for her grandchildren wall and updated pictures of the rest of the kids. Muchas gracias! Love you all!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Get it Through Your Thick Skull

Next time you are tempted to ignore advice given us by the Lord's annointed, consider this quaint quote from Joseph Smith, expressing his frustration with the Saints of his day:

"There has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle. Even the Saints are slow to understand.
"I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to recieve the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide the celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen" (HC, 6:184-85.)

OK, having been a homeowner in the 80's, the era of wood-burning stoves, I fully understand splitting logs with a wedge and sledge hammer, and I know that hemlock is very hard wood and hemlock knots are even harder, but I would appreciate some comments on the definitions of "corn-dodger", and "beetle".

Whatever the case, I think Joseph Smith would be (is) pleased with the stature of the Church he restored today. We just have to keep listening and trying to understand, so that we can be chosen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy, Happy Birthday Lori, Dear...(for you Primary fans out there)

We were so blessed the day you came into our lives. You are a wonderful person, wife and mother. We hope your day is happy, and that Colin does not have to work 24 hours during your birthday. For those of you who don't know them, Lori has a terrific familiy, especially wonderful parents who raised her well. Happy Birthday, Lori!!! We love you.
David and Debby

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I have been thinking much about life and the way things inevitably end up... with the demise of our mortal into the immortal and while this is a glorious Gospel, the loss of life- while we remain on this earth- is pretty tough.

I was truly saddened by the passing of President Faust because he was such a good man and in particular, the last talk he gave, seated during its delivery, touched me so. Forgiveness and the example of the Pennsylvanian amish and the example we should all take from that continues to prick my intellect and cause me to look within my own soul and at the things in my life I consider wrong-doings at my expense.

As I thought of this, suddenly there came another sadness to my experience. My phone beeped Saturday afternoon with the alert of a text message, voice mail and a missed call. All from my grandfather- with the simple request for me to call him back. He found out last week he has kidney and lung cancer and today, he has the biopsy to determine the exact nature of the cells that are infesting him internally. Isnt it wierd that cancer simply originates as one person's own cell getting all messed up with the cell cycle and dividing uncontrollably and this division can be deadly... it is mind-boggling really. The more sinister of these cells upregulate genes that destroy other cells, the more kind however, just are content to make a mass that is removable with surgery.

IT is my prayer that my grandfather has more years on this earth. He has had a really rough past 10 years or so in terms of family for reasons partially of his own transgressions, partly because of haughtiness of others... but he was the one person in my family that believed in me, supported me, and built me up.

I was adopted by my grandparents when I was 14 after being in foster care for years, and after totally imploding and keeping to myself, within a year, I was flourishing- mostly thanks to the support and love of my grandpa- Gerald Hart. He was at every track meet, basketball game, geek competition, pageant, marine corps event... and he truly believed I could do anything I wanted and his faith was enough for me to persue it- without it, I would have not had enough faith in myself to even try many of the things I have done in my life.

Please keep him in your prayers...

Time to listen to the funeral of President Faust...


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Becky Jo!!!

Is that Grace or Becky sucking her thumb? Another year and another birthday. What a wonderful example you are to all of us, Becky. We hope this year is full of wonderful adventures for the VanderLouw family. We love you. xoxoxo
Mom and Dad

Friday, August 10, 2007


in case you didn't know, crystal will be teaching a molecular biology class at james madison university this fall--in harrisonburg, and ray is now officially a graduate of northern nazarene university. what is their mascot, ray? the dreaded algebra test is now a thing of naught.

congratulations to both of you.


Guess Who??

In case any of you were wondering, and were just too nice to ask. :)

Elder Faust

For those of you who didn't yet hear.




Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Happy Birthday Colin!!!

Thirty years ago today you entered this world, a bit earlier than we expected. You were loved and adored before you were even born. Happy birthday, Colin. What a blessing you have been to our family. I thought I would remind your family and show our new family members a bit of the way we knew you. Have a wonderful day. Love,
Mom and Dad

Happy Birthday to me

Thanks for those pictures Mom. If Dad still has that powder blue suit I would be interested in taking it off his hands. And I think that's a pretty nice Members Only jacket I have on. I'm sitting here in the call room at the hospital celebrating my birthday. It's 2:45 am and lucky for me, I can't sleep. I celebrated by ordering an enema for an old guy with constipation. Anyway, that's beside the point.
One nice thing about traveling without the kids is I can actually focus on reading something for longer than 2 minutes. I was able to read almost the entire book that Dad gave us. It's interesting to me that you can hear things a thousand times, and one day you read it and it seems like it's the first time you have considered it. I had a few of those with this book. I'm realizing more and more that the priesthood is not something you get as much as it is something that you have to become. It's something you have to live everyday in order to have any power to use it. The Apostles have figured out how to do that more than anyone else, which is why they are who they are.
One of the things he talks about in that book is that we, as Elders, have as much priesthood as we will ever have, that we have as much priesthhood as the Prophet and Apostles have. That is a very humbling realization to me.
Anyway, if I'm not making any sense it's because I need some sleep. I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving. We hope everyone can come.
Get Becky's pictures ready Mom. I gotta go. There's an infomercial that requires my attention.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Lord is in Charge

Crystal's recent post reminded me of an email I sent to Colin a few months ago when he was frustrated with the residency matching process. His favored choices had looked promising, but then had fallen through, and he was not sure where he and his little family would be going. Sensing these thoughts may be helpful to all of you, I decided to post them on the blog:

The topic of President Monson's 1st Presidency message in the March Ensign was about compassion, but one of his references gave me some impressions entirely unrelated to that theme. The reason: I had been contemplating your recent concerns about your future, after most of your desired residency options had fallen through.

Recall I emailed you that the Lord is in the details of our lives, that He has a plan for each of us, and that if we are faithful, we can have confidence that He will not forget about us, but will maneuver the events of our lives to accomplish His ultimate will in our behalf. The trick for us is having confidence that his plan for us is what is best for us. Sometimes we may find ourselves in pivotal circumstances that seem contrary to our own pre-established goals, only to find at some point in the future that there were some profound reasons for the difference. Maybe the change in direction led us away from some unforeseen problems. Maybe it was to enhance our own personal or professional satisfaction. Maybe it was for the good of our family and therefore for the good of our own state of happiness. Maybe it was intended to accomplish something for His kingdom, or for mankind. Whatever the case, we need to recognize His hand in our lives and have confidence in his will

President Monson related the story of Joseph (sold into Egypt) (Genesis37-47) as a scriptural example of compassion. But sensing of your concerns and those of all of you kids, and recalling events of my own life, that story meant something entirely different to me. Recall that 17 year old Joseph, son of Jacob (ultimately Israel) was highly favored of his father, a point that peeved his brothers. So they threw him in a pit and contemplated killing him when they saw a chance to make some profit by selling him to some merchants. They spread blood on his coat and told his father he had been killed by a lion. The merchants carried him off to Egypt. Imagine what was going through his mind at that time, how abandoned he must have felt. In Egypt he was sold as a slave into the house of Potiphar where he gained favor because "the Lord was with him", but where later he was falsely accused by Potiphar's wife and was cast into prison. Again, imagine his torment. Again, things did not seem to be going well for him, certainly not as he had planned. But, the scriptures repeat over and over that "the Lord was with Joseph," and he won favor with the prison guards because "that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper." Because of that, at the age of 30, he ultimately came to the attention of Pharaoh, King of Egypt and was inspired to interpret Pharaoh's dream, foretelling the pending famine in the land. Pharaoh was so impressed with this "man in whom the Spirit of God is," that he put him second in command in his kingdom and made him responsible for storing up food for another 7 years in preparation against the expected dearth. He would then be in charge of fair disribution of the food. Finally, after many years, things were going well for Joseph, but you have to wonder if even at that time, he knew the Lord's intentions for him.

When the dearth did come, it "waxed sore" in all the lands, including Cannan, the home of his father and brothers. A couple of years into the famine, fearing starvation of his family, father Jacob sent his sons to buy food in Egypt where it was rumored there was plenty. Of course, you know the rest of the story. Through a series of exchanges, the brothers were eventually made aware of the identity of their benefactor. What a paradoxical twist, and what an opportunity for Joseph to get even, but by that time, he finally knew the Lords plan for him, and he understood the purpose of the painful twists and turns his life had taken. When he made himself known unto them, the brothers, likely feeling the sorrow of the damned, "could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence." Imagine their horror as their minds raced back 30 years to the time they had sold him into Egypt. But compassion, not vengence was in Joseph's heart, because he finally understood the Lord's intent for the seemingly sporadic and peculiar events of his life. He said to them, "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angy with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life..." "For God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance." And then the verses suggest the great joy they all experienced in recognizing the wisdom of God: "And [Joseph] fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him." He then sent them back to bring his father and all their house to live in the land of Goshen to be protected and preserved from the famine. The House of Israel was preserved. Consider the subsequent impact that has had on the world. Of course, it was all part of the Lord's plan, which he works in His own peculiar ways and in His own timeframe. He knows us each personally, and He does the same with our lives. As difficult as it may seem to understand at times, if we are faithful and work hard, He will assure that it all works out for the best.

I Love you all,

The Gospel makes bad men good and good men better.

Recent events in my life have helped me to truly see the eternal destiny of man and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to perfect God's children who willingly embrace it.
In the past few months I've seen how and why eternal marriage is the new and everlasting covenant and an integral part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

After Crystal and I got married and moved into our home in Broadway, Virginia Crystal noticed certain quirks of mine that she had seen while we were dating. One of the quirks she noticed was one that had been troubling me most of my life. I never did anything about it because I had always managed to "just get by". However, I decided to finally seek help to alleviate my inability to concentrate. For the past month I've been meeting with a psychologist who has been analyze my thought processes and various other aspects of my personality. In the end, he was able to discern that I have ADD. As a result of his analysis, I've begun to take medication to help me focus. In the beginning I was hopeful that this would finally be able to focus. As a testament of how well it has worked, my production at my job has increased significantly. Before taking Adderol, I would be lucky if I could process 12 patent applications a day. That is about how many applications I produce by the time my lunch break starts.

In a very unique way this is a testament to me of the scripture in the book of Moroni which states "Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him." I am humbled by the love God has shown me to allow me to marry someone like Crystal. It is because of her sweet goodness that I've been able to progress in the journey back to our Father in Heaven. Thanks be to God for all of his tender mercies.

about one year ago...

I went to Palmyra, NY with the Charlottesville Singles' ward- I had been a member of the family ward for about 7 months but still attended FHE and Institute and all activities with the singles- it was just too much for Valerie and I to go to the Singles ward plus her ward (for primary) every week, so I joined the family ward after I received my temple endowments.

I had just gotten home two days before from picking out a house in Sandy, Utah for Valerie and I. I was planning to move to Utah and work in a lab at U of U because, well... the prospects were not looking favorable for me to marry in the church as a divorced 29 year old woman (nearly 30) and after dating several times out of the church and seeing the same sorts of problems that came with that over and over again, I determined to not date outside the church ever again. Besides- what would the point be? I was looking for an eternal companion- not a person to fill the time till I found one.

On this trip, was a new member of the ward and he sat in the back of the van next to my daughter and a few other people. I sat in the front next to the bishop's wife and my friend, Sarah. My first words to the new guy were "What is your name?!" "What is your last name" and then, "How do you spell that?!" I would have been blown away then to realize that I would soon have that last name as well.

I felt the spirit so strongly on that trip and really liked the affection from Matt too- though I was sure to tell him I would be moving soon to Utah. I am so glad that fell through and despite all the frustration I felt, I felt more than that, that all would be well. I am so glad that I had the faith that the Lord would take care of things in my life.

On this trip, Valerie and I broke off from the rest of the group and as we were walking through the Sacred Grove, she asked me "Mom, did Joseph Smith REALLY see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ here?" I told her that the scriptures say that he did and the scriptures are true, but that she could ask and find out for herself.

We walked a little further to a secluded spot, then knelt down to pray and ask if Joseph Smith really saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the sacred grove. We ended the prayer and stood up, and Valerie said "He did not tell me if it was true..." but as we walked along, Valerie was skipping as I sang out loud "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and she smiled, held her arms around and spun around in the dappled sunlight that filtered through the trees- still holding drops of water from the morning rain. She then began to pick up all these caterpillars from the trail so that no one would step on them.

I could tell she felt great, so I took her hand, then I stooped down and said, "Valerie, you know that good feeling you have in your heart?! How you want to help these caterpillars and you are filled with love? That is the Spirit telling you the truth about Joseph Smith seeing Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in this place... maybe not this exact spot, but in this place."

It was such a special moment for her and I- and I have been blessed with many of those moments since joining the church- and I will always treasure that moment and that experience.

It was while thinking about that, that I made this slideshow of our trip last summer...

We are so grateful for the Gospel in our lives and I am so grateful that Valerie and I now have a priesthood holder to lead our family. It is one of the most precious blessings either of us have been given.

Create Your Own

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Back Home Again

Hi everyone,
What a wonderful time it was for me. Thank you everyone for taking the time and effort to share the incredible event of Leslie Alex's wedding together. What a thrill to see all of us together in that beautiful temple. We had some major road trips the next day, but it was fun. I'll let Ray add his own very special experiences. Maybe Leslie will even want to add her comments about her memorable second wedded night with her parents AND grandparents and a few siblings. I hope you all arrived home safe and sound. We got back into Pocatello about 7:30 p.m. Sunday night. I'll add more later, because I'm pretty tired, but would love to hear your comments.

Dad here. Agreed - Mom and i have found true joy in all of you and your families. Also, I just wanted to add: what a great party it was Friday night. Fun for all. It was especially fun watching the children's antics. Also, reception, travel, accomodations: about $5,000.00. Watching Colin, Ray, and Jason dance: Priceless. OK, I'll add myself to that list. Next time, I'll do the ostrich.
We really do love you all,