HISTORY

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.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Godfather=Padrino=We're Paying for their Wedding?


So, I thought when I moved to Mexico I'd have lots of crazy cultural difference type things to write about, but it really hasn't been the case. Maybe I'm a little desensitized because of all of my work travel, but I haven't felt like there have been that many things that are that different or at least not blog-worthy anyhow.

Yesterday at church a couple who's been dating for quite some time cornered Alex and I and told us they'd like to speak with us in private. I thought it was kind of strange, but not that strange. We all sat down in one of the classrooms and then they told us they were getting married and that they'd like our help. I was (of course) all excited for them and shouted "Felicidades" (congratulations) probably like 5 times. They then told us that most of it was set but that they still needed some help with photos/video and music. I started blurting out all of these great suggestions..."Oh, we loved our photographer, but he's a little expensive. The guy who did the music was great, and was cheap!" Blah, blah, blah. You get the picture. In the end they said, if you can help us with the music, that'd be great. So, I was like..."of course!" and Alex said, "Let me talk to my mom and I'll get back to you later this week." (His mom had actually arranged the music for our reception.)

When we got in the car to drive home this was our conversation:
Alex: There's one thing I really don't like about Mexico.
Leslie: What's that?
Alex: Padrinos (Godparents)
Leslie: What's a padrino?
Alex: It's someone you ask to pay for your wedding, quinceanera, etc.
Leslie: What...(Leslie slowly connecting the dots)...You mean Perla and Damian weren't asking for information? They were asking us to pay for the music for the wedding?! (Which by the way...will cost minimum $500.)
Alex: Yes, why do you think the Godfather is called the Godfather? (More dot connecting...Padrino=Godfather) He pays everyone's debts and then they are "endebted" to him.
Leslie: I've never seen one Godfather movie! I thought being a godparent was something Catholic, and that it was someone you ask to take care of your kids if you die someday or something.
Alex: Nope. Not in Mexico. You're now paying for their music!
Leslie: Ugh! Seriously?
Alex: Next time you see me saying, "let me look into it" and not immediately agreeing to help, take it as a sign that there might be something you don't know or don't understand...but now you are the nicest madrina (female version of padrino) in all of Mexico!

So anyway, how's that for being culturally savy? Now I have to figure out how to get out of this one. I'm sorry...I'd like to help, but I am not paying $500 in wedding expenses for a couple I barely know and only speak to on Sundays. We're thinking that we may have Alex take their wedding photos with our new, snazzy, one-year anniversary camera and then paying someone like $100 to take the video, and call it good. Whatever we work out...I now know that I have no desire to be a mexican madrina!

Funny Blog

Check out this blog I came across. It's apparently a fake blog that makes fun of all the Utah Mormon women who spend all their time blogging. It's actually pretty funny. Not that any of our family's blogs are like this.

http://seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 28, 2008

That's when the Elves came and fixed you




I am sorry it has been so long since I posted, as a couple of you know, Asher, indeed came early despite an October 17th scheduled c-section... hang onto your seats because I am going to detail our journey over the last 8 days, one of the most excitement and anticipation, then unimaginable fear of the unknown and terror, then cautious excitement to true joy... (PICTURES AT BOTTOM). I am likely to edit this in the next couple days...

Friday:

I woke up feeling really oozy- dizzy, nauseous, and really heavy. I began collecting urine for my 24 hour collection in the big brown jug and I noticed a very interesting smell to it. I commented to Matt and Valerie "today may be it, I feel so weird." I never really went into labor with Valerie, so I was on high alert, but felt no labor would commence because Asher was pretty active... what I was worried about was pre-ecclampsia because of the urine results the previous day. I went to MBC with the intent of handing out my exams, then checking my blood pressure and depending on that- call my Dr. I decided to try CVS first thing however, on my drive, but it was not opened, so no checking the BP there.

I went to office hours at JMU, met with several students, then I went to MBC and copied a ba-zillion exams, made out 2 keys for my blessed TA's who wanted to grade them (what a blessing!), and left maybe 10 minutes before I would on a "normal" day. Off to JMU for Cell lab meeting... I started feeling more than a little migrane, but was like... finish the lab, call the dr, go to CVS to check the BP...

I got about 1/2 way through lab and the headache was worse, I was seeing in slow-motion, so I stepped into the lab prep room and called my Dr and left a message. An hour later, as everyone was finishing, I checked my phone... no return call from Dr Maerski... I drove to CVS and waited for a couple to check their BP, discuss it for ages, then hover over the station as they complained about the cost of their prescriptions... I sat down and it was 140/90. That is WAY over my normal 100/60. I went to the car, called the Dr again, no answer... called the emergency number, no answer, then got a return call from Dr Maerski who told me to go to the hospital.

I called Matt and told him to meet me where we could get dinner for Valerie and I would head to the hospital and he to work. Valerie refused to get out of bed and threw her phone at him, breaking it against the door. When I heard this, my blood boiled and i set off for the 20 minute drive home, by the time I got there, I was livid, but feeling so gross, I could not even argue, I told her "fine, I can not argue with you, I am going to bed." I told Matt I would go in to the hospital in the morning when I dropped off the urine for testing.

I took a bath- felt a little better, then went to bed. Suddenly I woke up with the strange call of a bird outside. I had left the patio door open. I got up and considered going to the local Rite Aid to check my BP and felt very swimmy-headed and decided to pack a bag just in case, when I bent over to pick up a bag, I got overwhelmed with sickness and the headache and vomited 3 times. I knew that was "it" and got Valerie up and said, "this is real, Valerie, I may die if I am sick." She got up.

I tried to keep the conversation light as we drove the hour to the AMC hospital with a stop at CVS to re-check blood pressure at the same machine... it was now 143/94... I got to ride a wheel chair up to labor and delivery where Asher was hooked up to a monitor- he looked great, and my urine was tested- still showing protein... blood pressure was down a little, but not much and I called Matt and told him to "GET OFF WORK!" and he did...

I texted many of m friends/family of the situation and Eve apparently got in her car and came from DC, calling Bria to get there first. Matt and Bria watched me as MAgnesium and some other thing were administered. The Mg++ really HURT and made me feel awful. Eve came at 3 am and she, Bria and Valerie slept in the hotel next door, giving Matt a sofa and Valerie comfort. Asher was strong through the night.

The next morning I completed the 24 hour urine and Dr McMillan came in. I felt really weird. Dr McMillan came back in and said "your labs suck you are in severe pre-ecclampsia" and then we talked about that- well, I said "let's go." I do remember asking about giving me steroids because I was 4 weeks early and he said I was past the need for it. We were in surgery in 15 minutes but only after I first passed out.

The c-section was interesting. With Valerie I had an epidural, which was no problem, with the spinal (which did not hurt as much as getting an epi), I felt terrible. I think I even cried. It felt like fire in my body, when Matt came in, I began vomiting. Thank goodness there was nothing in my stomach. Then the surgery bagan and I could not breathe with all the pressure.

As Asher was brought out of my body, I saw him for a moment. He was perfect and I immeadiately began balling- what a special moment. Then... I heard a big cry- a loud yell, but that was it- no more crying and I said "why is he not crying?!" And no one responded- then I told Matt- "DONT YOU LET THEM LEAVE WITHOUT ME SEEING HIM!" and the anesthesiologist said "oh, dont worry, they will bring him by after he is cleaned up.

The next moment, Matt said "they are leaving" so the anesthesiologist said "are you not bringing him by?"and the Dr yelled "NO!" I said- "they are going to take him to the UVA NICU." You see, this was my biggest fear. He was gone, Matt left to be with him, I left for recovery and my nurse cleaned me up and spoke about what might happen. The anesthesiologist said "oh he is probably having problems because of the magnesium in his system." So I asked how long it takes to clear and he said "it is pretty fast..." I was optimistic but knew I wanted him to have a blessing.

The Pediatrician came in and told me "he is having trouble breathing and he forgets to breathe, the UVa NICU is on the way, he will be brought to you the moment before they take him." I asked if Matt could go with them and was told "no" because there is a NICU team that takes up all the room.

I texted some friends about that and knew in my heart he needed a blessing before that trip. My friend Geneva is very intuitive because she sent her brother-in-law from the same town before I even asked. Asher was brought to us and I saw him for the first time. He was looking right at me with bright eyes and his breaths were accompanied with his little voice--- huhhh huhhh huhhhh... and I was told that is called "singing" and I was beside myself. Matt and Jake gave Asher a blessing that was inspired and Asher was off... I was scared, but I had high hopes the Mg++ would wear off soon.

As luck (my fate) would have it, the same ped who was with Asher worked a 24 hour shift the next day in the UVA NICU. Matt came by after visiting the baby and did not tell me much, we fell asleep after excitedly talking about the beautiful boy who was ours holding hands through the rails of the hospital bed, and he awoke at 3 am to drive home. Matt and my friend Ryan gave Asher a blessing as well.

I called Sunday morning and the nurse was "busy" I just knew it was with my baby...and Dr Aronzon actually called me back and I was told "he is still having real problems breathing" and that he had cried enough to give himself a pneumo thorax (a hole) in his delicate lungs and he had gotten surfactant... a CPAP to keep pressure in his lungs... and a CHEST TUBE to let out excess air from his thorax. I cried and cried, and prayed for my baby so far away. Clearly, there was more going on than Magnesium.

Sunday was crazy- MAtt slept till noon with his phone off (i was peeved), Abby drove in from DC and I finally realized I could add her to his visting list (she was one of 2 people we added) and she sat with him till Matt arrived. Between her arrival and Matt's I was sitting in my bed drinking water and I realized... my stomach was visibly swelling. I watched it for 10 minutes and the nurse came in and told me it was time to take out the catheter. I told her... um.... I think you need to leave it- look at this. I lowered my bed and exposed my visibly swollen belly just under my ribs on the right side. She left and came back with 5 more nurses and Dr McMillan who ordered 2 new lines started, a myriad of tests- mostly liver enzyme and blood counts, PT, PTT... and a type and cross match for 4 units of blood. I cried and said "I dont want surgery!" (surgery hurts!) and he said "you have to have it." so matt called while the test results were coming back and I vaguely told him I was in trouble and would he please call someone to come sit with me. Geneva was already on her way. She and I distracted eachother with baby and nursing talk. Dreama from my class came and then I was instructed to drink 3 20 oz drinks for a contrast CT. I was given dye in the CT room and told to pump and dump the precious drops I had been collecting for the last day... (I love the hospital medela pumps!) I was asked to lay on my side for the CT and I was in absolute agony, but knew they could not get a good view unless I lay on my side. I was crying and started praying and as the CT moved me inside, I had a profound answer to my prayer that I will never forget.

I got back to the room, Candice came and Geneva left after Dr McMillan said we would wait to see what to do next. I was supposed to get a shower, but I just felt so awful, I asked her to let me sleep. I was in so much pain. While there in the dark, the Dean's wife (my friend) came and prayed for me. She said at one point "we are thankful for the increase in testimony Crystal will have..." and I remember that. Later, I barely remember Eve coming in, but I do not remember much except I excused myself and went to sleep. She wrote about it though in her blog.


Matt left Asher and came to give me a blessing with Bishop Herrick and I slept. I woke up the next morning, and my abdomen was normal, I got up, went to the bathroom and waited for Matt. Dr Mc Millan came in and said "I didn't get any emergency calls about you!" and I told him, " I went to sleep and woke up this morning fine" and he said "That was when the elves came and fixed you." And I laughed. It was God, angels, and people who love me on the other side, but Elves will be my code for that now.

Matt came and got me (by the way, he brough the most ridiculous pajamas for me to wear to UVa...) and we went to UVA.

I took a wheelchair up to the NICU and walked in bent-over to the NICU. I could not take the community wheel chair in with the babies.

Asher was breathing 110 times per minute with his chest collapsing with each breath and he was unclothed with a heat lamp to warm him. He had a CPAP in and a chest tube and he looked awful. I burst into tears and cried and cried. I wondered if he would come home, if he was in pain, if he knew his mommy loves him... It was truly awful. The nurse said day three was the worst, so in my heart I was thinking "maybe he will just get better now?"

We sat for a few hours and I pumped in the special room, then we got Valerie (loaded with crafts she made) and went home. It was after 6 when we got home. I fell asleep and woke at 8 and had Matt call the NICU to check on Asher- where we were told he had been put on a ventilator. I burst out in tears, clearly he was not better, he was worse. Again I wondered if he would live and Matt said that he really thought he would. I just kept wondering if he was going to get through this... and Matt left to give him another blessing with our friend, Devin.

The next day, we got there and had Valerie with us. Asher's chest tube was on and he was only on oxygen, and I got to hold him. It was fairly quikly apparent he needed the CPAP again, so that was replaced. My friend Hannah sent her pastor and he prayed with us, leaving a sweet spirit. Previously, I could not and he really grimaced to be touched, so all I could do was talk to him and hold his hand. We spent the day talking to and reading to Asher and staring at monitors, praying, and wishing our baby was well. I cried periodically through the day and the nurse came by and I said "what is the magic factor!?" and she gave me a book and told me to look up Respiratory Distress Syndrome... RDS and since then, I have felt much more informed and aware. Bless Emma the nurse.

Wednesday, we got to the hospital and I commented that he had not opened his eyes. He did not Wednesday either, though he raised his eyebrows throughout the day like he wanted to wake. He was still on CPAP but the respiration rate was better. I did not know it, but he was on his way. I felt better, for sure, when we left, but cautiously so. Hannah came to visit and we three sat and watched and prayed for Asher, he began 5 mls of my milk (colostrum) every 3 hours from a feeding tube. Prior to that, we was just on IV nourishment because he was so sick.

Thursday. I got to hold Asher and was doing so when it was our turn during rounds. Dr Katwinkle ordered him off CPAP and they took it off while I held him. That moment was so scary, in a way, he was stable and I did not want to mess with that. In another, I wanted him off because it meant he was better... he remained with his eyes closed for the day. Well, we came back in the evening because I was told they might want to try to give him a bottle- or if i was there, the breast. We came back so I could try to nurse him. That night... WE MOVED TO A TRANSITIONAL UNIT! As I held him, he peeked at me and we nursed. Me doing all the work and he fell asleep with a belly full. We all left feeling great.

Friday, Matt and I left early to feed the baby. We got there to an oxygen free baby without a feeding tube with reports of wakefulness and good eating! YAY! During rounds, Dr Katwinkle told us he would go home over the weekend! REally?! We had so many things (mostly cleaning-related) we had wanted to do. We had been invited to stay at Julie's for the night, so during my Stiches-removal appointment, Matt got Valerie and we met in Fishersville where I got his car (still at AMC hospital) and Matt went back to Asher and I took Valerie to her Dad's. I went back and nursed, and it seemed like some thought we would go home Saturday, others Sunday. Asher was doing great and even woke up a few times to be nursed and we got to provide his care.

Saturday- no IV (YAY! I really pulled it the day before, making him cry) and Dr Katwinkle told us we were set to leave. The whole day was crazy, but we decided together we weren't in a hurry, so it was a joy to spend the day in transition with Asher and I got the nursing help I needed (involving static cling things I get to wear during nursing and lovely shells when I am not. But let me tell you, it makes my job so much easier. We were released after 8 pm...

Long trip home with stops at Julies for the milk I had pumped and to get Valerie and we were home.

FIRST NIGHT- we got home exhausted, but Asher was really excited about this colorful, new, quiet and dark place, so I was up with him from 11-4. After the 4 am feeding though, he fell asleep and slept till 9, 4 solid hours. What a relief. At one point, Matt gave him a bottle (After I asked, but he wanted to nurse, so we did that, and he threw up on me. Good lesson for me there, eh?)

Sunday- today- it is midnight and Asher lies asleep in his clearly favorite blankie waiting to be moved to his cradle in our room. We are getting to understand each other so well. He is an easy nurser, so sweet after he lets me know "I AM HUNGRY!" He loves being read to (especially books with cadence), he loves talking to his sister, he loves Daddy reciting poetry to him, and he loves me singing to him. What a joy. I am so glad this little soul is ours, that he is home, and that he got through the trials of such a nasty bout with lung disease. Dr Katwinkle called him "our little star." He is OUR little star and I am so glad that the Elves came to fix him too. Our prayers- and those of many who love us were answered, his blessings were inspired, and my testimony of families and the power of prayer and of Jesus Christ are strengthened. He is perfect and sweet and ours and we all adore him. He has made our family better.


First moments:







HEALING









HOME




video

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Priorities

With things as they've been with the economy, I've been concerned of late about the waning status of our 401K. I has occupied my thoughts persistently. Then, last night, Mom and I got take-out from Mandarin House for dinner. It was delicious as usual, and ended well as my fortune cookie gave me some particularly timely advice:

"Don't worry about the stock market. Invest in family."

Let's hear it for the Chinese! They got it right, and I appreciate the reminder. I think I'll work a little harder on that. But, still I want to establish secure retirement sooner than later, so that we can spend more time in your lives and in service of the Lord. Of all the things we acquire and accomplish in this life, those are the only things that really count in eternity.

Dad

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Girl Loves her Dad...

I just put this post on my blog, and thought I would put it on the family blog too so you can all see what a sweet girl Grace is!!

"Let us reflect gratitude for our fathers.
"Father . . . is ever willing to sacrifice his own comfort for that of his children. Daily he toils to provide the necessities of life, never complaining, ever concerned for the well-being of his family. This love for children, this desire to see them well and happy, is a constant in a time of change." -Thomas S. Monson

Abby emailed us this song, Gracie, that is playing right now (it's not playing here, go to my blog if you want to hear it!). I had heard it before, but Ray hadn't and he had Grace listen to it with him. She came upstairs and drew this picture for Ray. It is the outline of her hand with her and Ray inside, with a heart on top. She is such a sweet girl.
Ray is such a good dad, the kids absolutely adore him. When he gets home from work they all totally freak out, climb all over him and I basically become chopped liver!! He treats them like the little people that they are and has genuine conversations with them, showing genuine interest. He also plays with them all the time. He is definitely a hands on dad. He wrestles with them and throws them around on the couches. Even Maggie has always been anxious to get in on the action! I have always known that his family is his number 1 priority and every decision he makes is made with our happiness in mind. It is so important for little girls to have a good relationship with their father. If they don't, it can leave a hole in them that they will constantly try to fill, sometimes in destructive ways. I am so grateful that my girls have a dad like Ray!


On a totally unrelated note...I actually did Grace's hair!! It has gotten long enough to "do", and she saw a girl with her hair done like this at church and asked me to try it with her hair. It worked!! She was really excited!


This is also just a random picture of Grace and Elliot playing together, building something, and making a big mess!!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Apostle Song

The kids in our ward sang this today. Anyone else heard it in a primary program. How do you like Elder Ballard's description? mom

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who's the Perfectionist?

Crystal put a post on her blog that made me laugh, and made me wonder. It was about a perfectionist trait she has observed in Matt, linking it to his father. Check out Crystal's post of September 9, and you'll get the idea. In commenting to the post, I came to some conclusions which I decided to share with all of you. I really liked her post because initially, it gave me insight into myself and my sons. But subsequently, I've realized that "the trait" can be found in one degree or another in my daughters as well, and it's even showing up in the in-laws.

RE: Matt's perfectionist trait - One would think maybe he learned it by watching me over the years, but I don't remember consciously teaching it to him. In fact, as you kids were growing up, I often felt guilty about not including you enough in my "projects." I'm ashamed to admit it, but I think I was a little afraid that your involvement might impede progress or hamper my desired perfect end results. Fortunately, your mother filled in to accept and compliment the simpleness of your youth, and thereby nurture your creativity. When you were each given assignments, I did require that you did them right, and perhaps I modeled "the trait,"but I don't think I pushed it. I remember substantial resistence to it from most of you, especially the girls, but for years now, I have seen each of you demonstrate "the trait" in one way or another. For instance, the fastidiousness Matt demonstrated in measuring and leveling, as highlighted by Crystal, is something I've seen Colin do for years now, even moreso since he's lived away from me. You're all showing it as you get older. Some of you are more subtle about it than others, but you all do it, and you know who you are.

Sometime, check out Leslie's taste in jewelry. There's only a certain classy style that will deserve her attention. Go deeper to observe a life of intense resolve. I've never seen anyone so firm in her intent. And, she picked and married her father - Alex is the ultimate perfectionist. Sometime ask him about his furniture styles - stuff I only dream about - and his business plans.

If you visit Becky's home, you will see the classiest color schemes, but even moreso, you will feel the spirit of a happy family. She has made compassionate mothering an art. And, what about Ray? When I was in college, I remember studying once about the "mating habits of the sea urchin." Well, if you ask Ray about bugs, he can tell you such stuff about them. He knows everything about them. He also excels in his field because he knows people.

Colin's interest in level and plumb is only a suprefiscial indicator of his perfectionist trait. He knows every sports statistic, and he has a place in his physical and mental life for everything - order is very important to him. Check out his PDA if you want to see order. Lori complements Colin with her resolve for a happy family and children. But, secondarily she retains her own interest in physical perfection. I have a blanket she made, and talk about precision...

Matt's demonstrated affinity for symmetry also reflects his well known fetish for style. One of my nicknames for him is Ote Jangey (Korean for clothes freak.) Along with his abundant vocabulary this is all indicitive of his admirable resolve to succeed. He is a finisher. And, as for Crystral, she talks like Matt is the perfectionist, but I've visited her home, and everything was in perfect order. Just look at her blog and her meticulous writing style, and her photography to observe her "trait."

Abby? The mere name connotes perfection. As a child, symmetry was of prime importance to her (concentric circles and boxes inside boxes - boxen.) She once won a mlti-high school drill-down competition by being the only one of a hundred girls to perfectly perform the drill orders - and she wasn't even an eligable contestant (she sneeked in.) Also, one word: Statistics. She's managed to convert some of her "trait" into classy abstractness, but if you follow the adventures on her blog and you will see that her apparent random persona is actually very well controlled - even orchestrated.

Look no further than Dana's efficient computer prowess to observe her propensity for perfection. Mom and I use her as a ready-resource when we're traveling. Between our cell phone and her computer, who needs a GPS? But, her "trait" is most highly reflected in her Ebay history as Colby, Eva, and Lilia are the best dressed kids in town. While Jason lived with us over the past year, I was able to observe first-hand his tenacity in practicing his "trait." He became good friends with my scroll saw as he discovered what detailed designs he could make with it. And, when you want a hole dug, Jason's your man. Beyond that, I think we've all observed the way he maginfies his calling as a Broncos fan.

And, as for your mom, who do you all look to for details, especially if they involve data and numbers, but also advise? She has become my Sudoku coach, and she has always been my phone book. She has been my moral compass. Sometimes I don't like it, but then I do. I can't imagine ever questioning her love for the Lord and her resolve for goodness and righteousness, not to mention her capacity to make it happen. Beyond that, the fastidious aspects of her "trait" are also readily observable: try loading the dishwasher outside her routine. Also, towels in our house have to be changed every 2-3 days.

So, I've taken a lot of heat over the years for being the perfectionist, but I think you've all come to share that distinction. My mother and dad were perfectionists in their own way. Maybe it's learned behavior, but I don't think so. Example from forerunners may serve a catalyst, but I think we all came with "the trait." Perhaps all the grandkids will confirm that theory. Some of them are already demonstrating "the trait." It makes life interesting. Individually speaking, I know that putting up our antics can be annoying for those whose "trait" manifests differently than ours. If we're honest, we'll each admit that our own "trait" can at times, be frustrating for us too, but the good news is this: I've observed that over time, it seasons and refines - becomes more pragmatic. As time goes on, the perfection urge starts to apply more to things that really matter, and less to the rest. I like to think of it in temple terms - "exactness and honor in all things." On that basis, hopefully it will ultimately pay off for all of us.

Dad, and proud of it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

6 Days and Counting


There are officially 6 shopping days unit the Office starts again. One hour primier! I tried to find the clip from The Alliance episode from season 1 but couldn't find it. Definitely one of the top 3 Dwight Schrute moments.

It's like Dwight says, "the eyes are the groin of the head." I don't know where I'm going with that but it's hilarious. Another hilarious quote by Dwight: "Hello Angela. You look as beautiful as the queen of England."

Feel free to share your favorite Schute moment or quote.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Funny Because It's True

I just came across this Brian Regan bit on the ER and doctors. It's mostly true, which makes it so funny.
I couldn't embed it, so here's the link. You should watch the 1st and 2nd part.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F08h6bhXk7E

Colin

Monday, September 15, 2008

An Answer to Grace's Question

I was thinking today about something Grace said. She had a big sliver in her foot. It upset her a lot at dinner last night, then this morning I asked her if she wanted me to take it out. I told her I had tweezers. She asked me what color they were:). I said silver. Then she said, no, she didn't want me to take it out. Then she said to me, "Jesus can heal anything, can't he?" After a pause, I said, "Yes, He can." We didnt' talk about it any more, but I would like to tell Grace just a couple more things about that.

I am so proud of you, Grace, for having so much faith in Jesus Christ. That tells me a lot about your Mom and Dad as well. They are teaching you about him, along with lots of other helpers, like in Primary. I wish I had that kind of certain faith. I want to assure you, that yes, absolutely, he can heal anything. He can heal slivers in our feet, cuts on our fingers, and scrapes on our knees. He can also heal pain in our hearts. He can help us when we are scared, He can make us feel better when we worry, He can help us in school, but most importantly, He can heal our spirits, when we have done something wrong. It is very painful when we know we have done something we should not. You are right, Grace, there is nothing ever, ever, that He cannot heal, and I hope that you will always remember that. I hope that you will always have that kind of faith in him, and I will try to follow your example. Thanks.
Love, Grandma

A Little about Valerie



Valerie is growing up fast which has me excited and sad all at once.

She is passionate and feels things intensely- just like her mama who is really looking forward to when Valerie starts having boyfriends 4 years from now...

She is determined and does not give up if the stakes are high if she believes in something.

She is extremely unintimidated and much more confident of a girl than I ever was in all things- from standing up to herself (she called the police on a boy this summer for saying some really ugly things to her) to selling things for a fundraiser (anyone want frozen pizzas?) to trying to save animals (lately she is all about the lowland mountain gorilla and animals in shelters).

She wants everyone to be warm at night and have food in their belly and she is becoming more and more aware of people and less aware of herself.

Valerie is especially interested in in infants and toddlers and recently has been seeking out mothers (especially at church) to help them with their babies during church meetings, ESPECIALLY if they have a baby boy. Yesterday she got to babysit (to her heart's JOY!) little Henry while his mom helped the little ones practice for primary. She is very much anticipating her little brother. She has such a kind soul for her cousins, friend's and family and really wishes we were closer to those we are related to.

She loves chocolate with drizzles of chocolate and while we're at it, let's add some more chocolate. She loves subway (as of this summer), sprite, salt and vinegar chips, sugarfree gum, texting, e-mailing, and watching movies with Matt, and being pampered.




LOOK AT THOSE CHEEKS!! 7 pounds last week with 4.5 more to go!!



Asher is quite a personality too! I never realized so much with Valerie- she just kinda hung out till she was born. Asher is all personality in utero.

He LOVES church, he gets all excited and wont sit still (that will be fun for Matt!), he loves Mexican food and bathtime and responds to each every time. He loves his daddy and calms right down when Matt talks to him and puts his hand on my belly. He sleeps very well when (rarely) I get to sleep in the morning with Matt when Matt gets home, or on Sundays.

He HATES the straps of the non-stress test and moves all around to avoid them- responding both to the pressure and to the sound of his heartbeat and movements. He LOVES being patted by my students and is very fond of one of them- LaKia- he always moves for her.

He responds to mommy being sad every time so I have to make sure I stay happy. He wakes up for my shots and goes to sleep when I do and has been staying asleep when I have to get up during the night. He prefers me on my left side and wakes up and struggles the moment I move to my right side or my back- he definitely likes to cuddle but not to be to constrained.

He likes talking about science and generally is awake the entire time I lecture- especially in my Biology of Women class. That makes me laugh, we are talking about menstruation this week.

His favorite times are meal time and when daddy gets home and he sleeps in the car.

We can not wait to meet him, but wow, do we love him so much already.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cole's First Photo Shoot

We had a friend of ours take some pictures of Cole a couple weeks ago. She posted some of them on her blog if you want to check em out.

http://sarahpalfreyman.blogspot.com/

I think you're going to like them

Colin

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Get to know Colby, Eva, & Lilia

(Eva is playing the drum on Lilia's back)
Last night Jason and I just started asking the kids what their favorite things were after Colby rolled a pea to me and asked me what my favorite food was. When I answered him he said, "Okay, now roll it back to me." (He had to have learned that in nursery.) It was hard asking them though because Colby hurried to answer and Eva would always repeat whatever Colby said. We got some original answers though. I'll answer for Lilia. (Her first tooth broke through Sunday!!!! Way earlier than Colby & Eva. I think Colby got his first tooth at 8 months, Eva after that.)

1) What is your favorite animal?

Colby-monkey
Eva-monkey
Lilia-Quin

2) What is your favorite show?

Colby-Mickey Mouse
Eva-TV
Lilia-Baby Einstein

3) What is your favorite game?
Colby-Mario
Eva-toys
Lilia-tickle my tummy

4) What is your favorite place to go?

Colby-Old McDonalds
Eva-Costco
Lilia-hmm...not the doctor (She just had her 6 month check up. She was just under 75% for weight, 90% for height, and 50% for head circumference. She doesn't like shots... :( and she was scared of her doctor! She's never scared of anyone!! Even a little bit scary old lady that held her at church on Sunday.)

5) What is your favorite song?

Colby-ABCDs
Eva-"Twinkle" (that's what she called it)
Lilia-the song that plays on her mobile. Always puts her to sleep.

6) What is your favorite food?

Colby-nuggets
Eva-plate (I tried to ask her again tonight and she sat there thinking about it for a minute before I just gave up.)
Lilia-squash

7) Who is your favorite friend?

Colby-Grandma Boise (he loves you too mom :)
Eva-MOMMY!!! (My excitement added, this was one of the ones she had to think about for a loooooong time)
Lilia-Colby & Eva, and they LOVE making her laugh

8) What is your favorite treat?

Colby-Jolly Ranchers
Eva-"Special Treat" (that is what we call Starbursts)
Lilia-Not fruit! She doesn't like fruit! How weird is that? She always makes a face & spits it out when I try to feet it to her.

This video is from tonight, I thought it would be a fun way for you guys to see how good of friends Colby & Eva are. They love each other and almost never get sick of each other.
video

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Getting to know the grandchildren

Hi everyone,

On my way home from Cleveland, I wrote a few things about my Cleveland grandchildren. I hope all of you will put things on the blog to help us get to know our precious posterity better. We are not around each other often, and while we love the grandchildren, we would certainly love getting to know them better. Here goes:
Mia is a darling, smart little girl. Sh is willing to give anything a try. Mia feels things very deeply, and acts on those feelings. She is very mothering and nurturing. She loves to learn new things and is very teachable this way. She sounds out words everywhere and gives it a good effort. I think she will be an excellent student. It is difficult being the firstborn. You want to do everything the adults are doing; you want to be included. I remember feeling that way myself, but being excluded at times because I was "too young". Because she feels things so deeply, and also because she is confident, sometimes she gets going in one direction, and keeps going even though she knows she shouldn't. I feel like that sometimes, too. David still has to put the skids on my sometimes, too. So, sometimes she gets herself in a little trouble. What I really love about Mia is that she is teachable in these situations. When her patient, loving Mom takes her aside and explains things to her in a way she is able to understand, and then she is able to return and apologize.-- Never an easy thing to do, but a very noble quality. We all need very patient, loving people to help us understand and correct things we have done amiss. For Mia, it is the beginning of learning repentance. She has good parents to teach her. She will understand that process long before she is baptized. She is becoming a lovely young girl, who loves to play and have fun. She is a good sister to Jack.

I really think Jack's personality is similar to his Grandpa Croshaw. He is a 'stop and smell the roses' kind of guy. There is no hurry in him. We took a walk, and whenever we came to a wall or a log, over he would go to walk along the edge, or middle of the log. He is very determined. If he wants to do something, he finds a way. When we were at the park, Jack found a way up this steep incline to the big toy. Mia couldnt' do it at first, but then when she realized Jack had done it, she too found a way. Jack is practically swimming. He jumps off the side, swims under the water, leaving his eyes open the whole time. Once he even jumped off the deep end, but some adults there were watching and listening to me yell for Jack to "Stop". They got him out and sent him back. He is very courageous. When he came out of the water his eyes were red and his eyelashes were spiky, and he looked just like his dad did years ago. Jack also loves Mia very much. They are wonderful playmates. He is a charming little boy, and has the sweetest voice. I wish you could all talk to him. He loves to play! He is lucky to have a dad who also loves to play, too.

Cole is so adorable. One of the first things I noticed about him is that he is very strong. Remember how Grace held up her head so early? Cole is just like that! I was thinking how babies can really only use their arms and legs at first, but he is also trying to control his head. If you were to hold him, you would see him holding up his head. When he got upset, which wasn't often, it would really help him if Lori would just hold his arms and hands, so he couldn't wave them around. It really calmed him. He is very snuggly, and we spend many hours, he and I snuggled up together. First he would fall asleep and then I would. I only had one semi-delirious moment, along the lines of Becky coming into our bedroom when I was on the verge of sleep--"Becky, it's your mother!!". I can't remember details. Maybe Colin and Lori can. I think Cole looks like Jack. What do you think Colin and Lori? Cole is very patient with everyone, especially with his big sister who takes such good care of him, and is such a help to her Mom. He is growing quickly, and I am sure changing so much.

They are a wonderufl family and I was blessed to be able to spend those days with them. Colin and Lori are great parents, and also continue to learn howto be better parents.

Please let us all hear about your children. xoxo Grandma

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New Cell Phones--like a temporary new job

can anyone please tell me where i can get some good ringtones for my phone, and not spend a fortune? can i join verizon for a month for the 9.99 ring tones and then cancel my membership after a month? dad really wants the 24 ringtone--where did alex get that? and i want mamma mia. help!

p.s. was reading the ensign from august--i missed out on august. great article "Finding Comfort in King Benjamin's Counsel". the final scripture, "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."Mosiah 3:19 doesn't that mean all of us, in all the difficult circumstances we so often find ourselves? i might also add that we will be even more blessed if we submit cheerfully. love you all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It feels like fall here


hi everyone,


i thought i should write and give all of you an update on grandpa. recently he has gone to the va in slc twice for some tests. his psa has been up the last little while, and it is up again (11). one thing he had done in slc was an epidural, kind of like what grandma had done a couple of times for back and leg pain. it has helped him a lot. he hasn't been using the cane as much. last week he went in for an mri (don't have those facilities here in pocatello)on his back. he has had lots of back pain. he went into the dr. here, yesterday, or maybe the nurse just called--not happy with that dr.s office right now-- and told him there were some dark spots on his pelvic bones, and he needed to come in and get a shot. it is a 3 times a year shot, for pain. he had these shots done a couple of years ago. they are massively expensive--around $2500--,but medicare pays for them. they are some type of major female hormones. not fun side effects. they are supposed to help him with the pain in his back, though. he then has to take some pills, one a day for 20 days. is this ringing any bells colin? the pills are likewise extremely expensive, $372/20. anyway, the dark spots indicate bone cancer, i am guessing a result of the prostate cancer. they are not going to do any type of treatment for that. don't know how fast the cancer will spread (colin?), so we will just wait and watch. they are treating his pain, though, which is good. i am going in with them the next time they have an appointment. i have lots of questions. i really don't have any more information. grandma is mostly concerned about his pain. anyway, i know this is not good news, but they and i would appreciate your prayers and good thoughts for them. i love all of you. xoxoxo mom

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Deep Thoughts...


Okay everyone, what is your favorite deep thought (those of you old enough to remember, anyway)...
Mine is:

"It seems as though I always hear the crows calling my name", said Caw.

I think of this every time we see a crow, because Grace always says, "There's a crow....CAW, CAW".  She says "caw" in a really high voice, it is really funny!