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.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Colby is 3!!

and how could we forget.....
Happy Birthday Colby! We love you so much and you're such an important part of our family.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Day in the Life of Ray...

So, if anyone ever wondered about the details of Ray's daily professional life, there is a new show on the Discovery channel called VERMINATORS!!!  It is a new reality show that follows some pest control professionals around from a company in LA called Isotech Pest Management.  Ray is obsessed with this show.  It truly makes your skin crawl!!  I really like the owner of the company, I almost wonder if he is LDS.  I kind of get the mormon vibe and he always says "oh my gosh".  Anyway, if anyone wants to check it out, it is on Mondays at 10 pm.  You can also watch full episodes or short clips online at this address:

Just a warning, this is not for the faint of heart!  ;-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

hey jude!

korean baby singing hey jude

Absolutely adorable "ret 'er into your heart!"

I love that he hums the accompaniment.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Agony and the Ecstacy

Congratulations to Dana and Jason and to Becky and Ray, and much thanks to Heavenly Father for the milestones reached in their lives, and the sense of excitement that they feel about their futures. These are happy times, and they are the ecstacy. I know we are all very happy for them. Now we all need to unite our faith and prayers for the other family members, those still experiencing some degree of uncertainty in their lives (the agony):
Leslie and Alex, that they will be reach success in obtaining their needed visas and in starting their new family;
Colin and Lori, that he will be matched soon with a desirable residency or job, that her pregnancy will go well and that the baby will develop properly;
Matt and Crystal, that he will soon find fulfilling and rewarding employment, that her pregnancy will go well and that the baby will be whole and healthy;
And, last but not least, Abby, that she will experience peace and fulfillment in her present as she seeks the Lord's will for her future.

Oh, and while you're at it, remember Mom and Dad that we will be able to maintain our health and get our retirement secured soon, so that we can serve missions productively.

Thank you to everyone for caring about one another, and about the true and right way,
Mom and Dad

A Tribute to the Sexiest Man Alive

Who will happen to be on American Idol next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have to say, I am now American Idols biggest fan....for one week at least.

I'm sure everyone has their favorite Neil Diamond moment. Every time I hear Sweet Caroline I feel like Neil is singing directly to me. With that deep rich voice and exposed chest hair, what guy couldn't be jealous, and what woman couldn't melt away just thinking about him.

Everyone, comment on your favorite Neil moments. I know you have them. David and I have rocked out to America and Mr. Bojangles in the shop many a time.

Sale Pending...

So, we just signed a contract on our house!! I am so relieved to not have to keep the house spotless anymore!!  We will be closing on June 2.  Ray leaves on May 4 to go to Spokane, so we will only have to be apart for a few weeks.  Grace will be able to finish school and we will have time to get all the lose ends tied up.  Hopefully everything will go as planned.  We have been praying that we would have an offer before Ray left.  Grace and Elliot have also been praying for it, and it was a great way to teach them about the power of prayer.  My last day of work is next Wednesday, I am so looking forward to being done.  Ray and I are going to Utah next Thursday for Jez's graduation and Ray leaves for Spokane from there.  Not to change the subject, but any suggestions for a new blog name?  Oklahoma VanderLouw won't really work anymore...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tonight's Idol

American Idol
So, I was wrong. I am LOVING tonight's performances so far!

David A just sang and first I had goose bumps, then I cried. He is amazing and he did an incredible thing with that song! WOW~

I felt so sorry for poor Brooke. That happened to me once on stage and it was horrifying. I "cheesed it up" and it was a funny song, so it went over pretty well, but that part of Evita can not be cheesed up. Poor Brooke.

Jason bit the dust (yuck, yuck, yuck on his song)

Syesha was amazing, and Valerie likes her hair today. The funny thing is, I suspect she is going to have a little sister or brother with Syesha hair, that shall be fun for her. I can tease her about it later...

More later, I just was so full of... something tender... I had to post about David Archuleta. What a sweetie.


didn't like Carly- if that is what that musical is like, I am not interested. It kept sounding like a curse to me, but I am very sensitive to the use of the ole "J C."

David Cook- well, that is a different sound. I would love it as part of a Phantom performance, it was perfectly executed- especially that ending(!!) but as an American Idol performance... so strange considering what he has done with other songs and what David did with a Phantom song making it "his own"... he is still awesome though. The practice with Lord Webber was fairly entertaining!

For sure, it will be Brooke or Jason going tomorrow... probably Brooke.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Have you bought David Cook's Album yet?

This is a repost of FoxNews.com (of course)

I actually listened to the snippets on amazon and if I had the money, I would buy it and the version of "Hello" from one of the first weeks. I am not sure I would know right away it is David Cook- his voice sounds a little more gravely or Creed-ish than it does week after week on Idol. Anyway, it is excellent, I love:
"The Truth"
"Straight Ahead"

From Foxnews.com
How much of a ringer is American Idol contestant David Cook? His self-released album, David Cook, is on the charts and the current season isn’t even over.

Cook’s 2006 CD, “Analog Heart,” has been the number 1 downloaded album all weekend on Amazon’s MP3 service. It even beat Mariah Carey’s E=Mc2.

Back when Cook auditioned in Omaha for American Idol he was identified as a bartender who happened to be a friend of Chris Daughtry, a now wildly successful post-Idol graduate.

It sure didn’t seem like Cook had a big career already — albeit regionally. He’d already appeared on a couple albums with a local group, and there was some vague mention of a solo album that he’d made himself.

But if Analog Heart is now being offered officially to proper downloading services — and not on just mysterious indie platforms — then Cook has to be behind it. That’s a first: an album out from an Idol contestant before the contest has concluded. What if he doesn’t win?

More importantly, what happened to American Idol simply being a competition for totally unknown or undiscovered artists? What fueled the fantasy for the audience was the concept that anyone — the waitress down the street who had a nice voice—could suddenly become a superstar. It was one thing when Carly Smithson (nee Hennessey) was revealed to have already released an album five years ago. But for Cook to have one out now, I think, disqualifies him as a true competitor.

And P.S.: Isn’t this some strange way to get around the American Idol contract for management and a recording contract? In the past, Idol contestants had to agree to be managed by 19 Entertainment and give BMG first right of refusal for their albums. But a digitally available album made before the show and released before the winner is known? Hmmm…Seems like that bartender from Omaha was smarter even than wily Simon Cowell.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


You gotta watch this (if you have half an hour to kill). This kid from our ward was one of 2 Americans invited to this international competition and he ended up winning. I think he's 13 years old.
Anyway, I just watched it and was blown away. He's obviously very good if he won it.



Big But and Tequila

Abby's Pee Wee comment to Dana's post about Texas reminded me of these all-time favorites. I wish I had a dime for every time you kids watched these things back in the 80's. Enjoy,



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Grace!!

Happy, Happy Birthday Gracie, Dear!!  This is a little late, but I got it in on her birthday!  We had a crazy day, trying to have an open house.  Grace's party will be next week, but she was thrilled with her barbie scooter!  I can't believe she is actually 5 years old!  Happy Birthday Grace!  We are so lucky to have you in our family!  We love you!
(see the VanderLouw family blog for a slideshow of Grace!)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Polygamist Hairdo

I know it is no laughing matter- the situation for the poor children in the FLDS compounds in this country, I am however, very intrigued by this very strange culture! (straight out of Big Love!)

One thing is that HAIR! Anyway, my thought is- if "fundamentalist" is slapped on the beginning of any church, it cant be good- fundy baptists, fundy muslims, fundy LDS... etc...

Anyway, here is my polyhair (and tie-dye t-shirt, I am fresh out of prairie dresses).

What can we do to help?

The news these days is very depressing. We're in a recession or nearing a recession. I don't know if it's true. One thing that is true is that food prices are rising all over the world due to subsidies, fields being used to raise fuel instead of food, etc. It's a commodity that every, single person needs. I read an article in the New York Times this morning that made me cry.

You all know I recently visited Haiti. I saw it's poverty first-hand. I know that if it were governed properly, it wouldn't have the problems it has. But so many of the people there can't even begin to worry about fulfilling their civic duties. They can't even worry about making sure there kids go to school. You know Maslow's hierarchy of needs...the only thing they can worry about is how they are going to eat.

This was what I read this morning...
"In Haiti, where three-quarters of the population earns less than $2 a day and one in five children is chronically malnourished, the one business booming amid all the gloom is the selling of patties made of mud, oil and sugar, typically consumed only by the most destitute.

“It’s salty and it has butter and you don’t know you’re eating dirt,” said Olwich Louis Jeune, 24, who has taken to eating them more often in recent months. “It makes your stomach quiet down.”

Haiti, its agriculture industry in shambles, needs to better feed itself. Outside investment is the key, although that requires stability, not the sort of widespread looting and violence that the Haitian food riots have fostered.

Meanwhile, most of the poorest of the poor suffer silently, too weak for activism or too busy raising the next generation of hungry. In the sprawling slum of Haiti’s Cité Soleil, Placide Simone, 29, offered one of her five offspring to a stranger. “Take one,” she said, cradling a listless baby and motioning toward four rail-thin toddlers, none of whom had eaten that day. “You pick. Just feed them.”

Can you even imagine?

Because I have been given much, I too must give. I don't want to just cry, I want to help. Do I give money? Do I volunteer? Any ideas? Can we do something as a family?

Thursday, April 17, 2008


We FINALLY heard where we're headed. I feel like I've been waiting for years, since we thought we'd know last Wednesday, then Monday.....but we heard.
SAN ANTONIO! It was definitely not expected, but I am SO excited!!!! We'll only be 5 hours from Les and 8 from Becky until they move to Spokane, which might be before we even get to Texas, who knows.
Jason is so excited to be going somewhere with so many college football teams. One of the first things he did was look up the colleges around San Antonio.
There's a Sea World in San Antonio! I've never been, but I'm so excited to take the kids. Becky also told me they have a Six Flags. Anyone feel welcome to come visit! :)

The famous Riverwalk I've heard about from a few people I've told. Not too thrilled about the Spurs, but still...we're going to live somewhere there is a NBA team! We'll have to check out the basement of the Alamo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

VT Website

You should spend a little time on this website, especially at the VT Thanks the World link.

One year later

It's hard to believe it has already been a year since the shootings at Virginia Tech. If you own a TV (and don't live in Mexico), I'm sure you have been reminded of this several times already today. I think everything in Blacksburg shut down today for a memorial on campus.
I think there has been a lot of progress in the recovery there. The biggest reason for that is because the keys of the kingdom were brought to the campus by Elder Bednar just days after it happened. I'm very grateful I could be there when that happened.
It's no coincidence why that happened so fast. After all, we know that God is a Hokie fan. Why else would the leaves turn maroon and orange in the fall?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol top 7

As an ode to Michael Johns, here was my favorite of all of his performance...this was when he became my favorite.

He is such an incredible singer! I still can't believe he really got kicked off.
And here he was on Regis and Kelly, I remembered how much I liked him.

Oh well.........on to the next week.
(I can't wait until he makes an album and I can buy it!)

Baby Pictures

I have some posted from yesterday's ultrasound (which by the way, I left at 8am and got home after 4... it was a long day).

Anyway, they are on my blog, if interested.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rio de Janeiro- Considered by many 'The Most Beautiful City in the World'

Rio de Janeiro ("River of January", pronounced [ˈhiw dʒi ʒʌˈnejɾu] in Portuguese, /ˈriːoʊ di ʒəˈnɛroʊ/ in English), is the second major city of Brazil, behind São Paulo. (At one time it was the largest city.) The city is capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro. It was the capital of Brazil for almost two centuries—from 1763 to 1822 while it was a Portuguese colony and from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. It was the de facto capital of the Portuguese Empire from 1808 to 1821. Commonly known as just Rio, the city is also nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa — "The Marvelous City".

It is famous for its spectacular natural setting, its Carnival celebrations, samba and other music, hotel-lined tourist beaches, such as Copacabana and Ipanema, paved with decorated black and cream swirl pattern mosaics. Some of the most famous local landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Jesus, known as Christ the Redeemer ('Cristo Redentor') atop Corcovado mountain, which has recently been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car; the Sambódromo, a giant permanent parade stand used during Carnival; and Maracanã stadium, the world's largest football stadium. Rio also boasts the two world's largest forests inside an urban area. The first is the forest in Parque Estadual da Pedra Branca, or White Stone State Park. The second, almost connected to the first, is the famous Floresta da Tijuca, or 'Tijuca Forest'.

Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana Beach

Christ the Redeemer- on top of Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest

A view from the sand- Copacabana Beach

On a train to Santa Theresa

Fulfilling one of Alex's dreams
Maracanã - Largest 'futbol' Stadium in the world

Just for the Record...

I got this link to this blog post from my friend Angie's blog.  It is the best blog post I've read in a while.  Check it out...

(you have to cut and paste, sorry didn't have time to figure out how to do a link!)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Grandma turned 79!!!

Happy Birthday Mom/Grandma. I know this is a day late, but we love you and wanted to send you cyberspace birthday wishes!!! Love, Debby and David

Friday, April 11, 2008

One more cute picture of EBA

Jack kept calling Eva, Eba. It was very cute and the had a lot of fun together!

More fun in Pocatello!

We had a great time in Pocatello with all that were there! We took the cold Cleveland weather to Pocatello and thankfully left it there. It has been warm since we got back. However, we caught a cold virus in Pocatello and brought it back to Cleveland. I had it in Pocatello, Mia had it for just a few days and Jackson is just starting. He just wants me to hold him on my lap and watch Nacho, his favorite movie. We were all up at 6 this morning. Jack had a fever so I gave him Tylenol and that always makes him sleep. Here are our pictures.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My scenes from Idaho

That was such a wonderful trip home. Every time people ask me how it was (probably referring to my surgery), I automatically launch into a description of things I did with the family and games I played with the kids. I'm so glad my tonsil adventures weren't unbearable, so I could enjoy my time with everyone.

Here are my pics from the trip. I'm experimenting with embedding a whole album, so we'll see if it works...

Home for the Spring in March 2008

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. It definitely made my day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

American Idol--is it 8 now?

haven't watched it yet, but what do you think? i am going to watch it tonight, then the kick off episod. let me know. xo mom/debby

Fun with the Cousins!

We had such a great time with the cousins. Jack and Eva got to be really good friends and were asking for each other by the time they left. It was great. Mia was SO good with Lilia. Lori is going to have such a good helper when their baby comes. The time went by too fast. Hopefully it won't be too long before we get to see them again.