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.

Friday, March 6, 2009

12:20 am, where are your children?

Hello, guys.

It is 12:20 am and although I have been preparing my Young Women lesson all week, I need some help. Three weeks ago, I was supposed to teach on Homemaking. Being that I really do not have the kind of experience that the manual, the scriptures and Temple covenants overtly refer to on this topic, I asked someone else to teach this lesson. I struggled with it for weeks before deciding (and getting confirmation) that that was what I was supposed to do. I felt strongly I could not teach on this subject because not only do I not have that experience in my life, nor do the women I have known in my family (my 70 year old grandmother JUST retired from physical, manual labor last year, though now her IRA is worth 30,000), but also, being as such, I do not have a testimony of Homemaking. I desire to develop a testimony of that, it is something I hope I will be experiencing soon. Yes, I know that I am Homemaking in some ways, but believe me, if you saw how bare-bones my homemaking is, it would make you feel the same way as I did about teaching that lesson in terms of my ability to teach it.


Sunday's lesson is on Strengthening the Family. I can teach on that in a way unique to my own life experience, where I have (gladly) tried to strengthen my brothers and mother and my children and husband, but that is not what I need to teach about. I need to teach about how being strengthened has affected lives... again, as I have never been the object of strengthening from my family in my own experience, I feel that I would greatly benefit from hearing specific, personal examples from you as to how you have been strengthened by your family.

Also, I do have this testimony- being a member of the church is the most-amazing blessing I could have given my children. I have taken to watching BYU channel at night (there is only so much FoxNews I can take and Big Love is only on once a week) and I have been so touched by the stories, particularly of the Martin and Willie handcart companies and Elder Groberg because of the stories that I have learned of families.

I want to share something with you. My family is not a good one. It is really not good. In my family, if you need help, you go without help, if you need strengthening, you are called out for being week, if you are sick, most of the time, no one even knows (fun memory: hey, I am just calling to let you know I have been in the hospital for the last 8 days, I had to be resuscitated. Response: hmm... I have groceries in the car, bye.")

It breaks my heart on so many levels because I do not see it changing in my brothers' families for their children. Two weeks ago, I asked my brother how my nieces are. He said "I dunno." He had not seen them in weeks. My nephew lives with an "aunt, " my other niece has never had a crib or a bedroom.

I have had in me always, a desire to give more to my own children. That is why I work two jobs. That is why I am so funny about clothes for them, but not myself. That is why I do most things in my life. I look into big brown eyes and deep blue eyes and I see precious angels. I myself feel like I was always looked at as a mistake. That is a terrible thing to "put" on a child. I am not looking for sympathy, I am saying I am so grateful to God that He sent missionaries to me, an amazing husband who truly loves me, children who snuggle into me every chance they get, and amazing in-laws that I fear I annoy more than anyone will admit, BUT. I am learning here. It is hard to not prove myself when that is the ONLY thing that has gotten me ahead in this life. I am learning. I am also way too sensitive, I do feel inferior, jealous, envious to the max, but I am looking to strengthen and be strengthened. I feel particularly impressed lately that I must make time for both of those things, whatever that means.

Please, share with me specific instances in which you have been strengthened by your family.

Here is the kind of woman I aim to be:

She says, you know the monkey bar rules
As she kisses away his playground bruise
You dont have to skip a bar each time
To make it to the other side
She picked him up from out of the sand
Then tied the shoelace that read, superman

We all fall down
Its the gettin back up that really counts
We live and we learn
To help someone up when its their turn
In life theres only one guarantee
Your feet wont always be on the ground
cause we all fall down

She says I know what youre goin through
As she talks to the door of her daughters room
Your heart feels like its broken in two
But, baby, Im here for you
The door opened and she stepped inside
She put her arms around her and said, its ok to cry

Hes forty-five and his job is gone
Cleans out his desk and he heads on home
Sees his kids out playin in the yard
Its been a while since hes been hit so hard
Hes as scared as a man can be
He tells his wife and she says, honey, look at me

We all fall down
Its the gettin back up that really counts
We live and we learn
To help someone up when its their turn
In life theres only one guarantee
Your feet wont always be on the ground
cause we all fall down


David and Debby said...

I'm sorry things were so difficult and disjointed for you growing up, but I hope you can find solace in our family while you work on bringing cohesion to yours. The gospel can change people. It is so remarkable that you found it and recognized it as truth. It has made such a difference in your life. Now You are the best connection your family has, and if you keep praying and working on them, I know you can make a difference, to strengthen their lives. Your example probably already has done so, and time will magnify that influence. The Lord will magnify you as He does in all our righteous endeavors. You may not have been the object of strengthening from them, but they will be the beneficiaries of such from you. In the end, it won't matter how any of us arrive at eternal life, as long as we get there.

I'm contemplating your request and will try to comment with something tommorrow. Thank you for being so strong and being such a good example to all of us.

Crystal said...

I honestly think the way I grew up made me a better person. I can watch a person for 10 minutes and know what they need. It is a gift. I think it is because I have "been there" for most life experiences. It has made me very attuned to people in a way I would not trade for the world. My therapist told me I was the "world's therapist" though it feels like it has been so long since I did anything but barely survive ;-)

anyway, I actually feel very sorry for the little girl I was, but not at all for the adult I am.

David and Debby said...

it is interesting that you say that about feeling sorry for the little girl. i read a book once, a think it was by the jonathan livingston seagull author, and somehow an idea in there was about going back to comfort your former self. i have thought i wish i could go back to the young mother i was who worried so much about so many things and tell her that her life would be more incredible than she could ever imagine, that she would see and do and feel things that are too wonderful to believe. also, that she would have these incredible adult children and inlaws. i really do feel it is remarkable that all of my children have married so well. anyway, i would like to tell you that your life will be more fulfilling and better than you can ever imagine--. i know this doesn't relate to your lesson, but i wanted to share it. here is something that i have thought of many times. when i was a little girl, we always went to my grandma christensen's house for thanksgiving. it was such a wonderful time. the table would have all these extensions on it, and my grandpa sat at the head of the table, on a piano bench. i always got to sit by him!!! but the really terrific thing was as i looked back. years later i could feel the love my family had for me--my big extended family. i felt that i was not remarkable in any way, but they all loved me, and somehow it empowered me. loving people gives them courage and confidence and ability that i think generally is not recognized. that is really one of my favorite childhood memories--thanksgiving dinner at grandma christensen's. you put all the memories together, all that love from siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and it gives us strength and power. i don't know if i have really given you the sense of what i am feeling, but i hope so. also, even though you are working (hard!), you are enfolding your husband and children and your extended family in love all the time. that is what really matters. that is what can elevate us and help us be what we need to be to return to our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful to you, for the good wife and mother you are. please know how much i love you and matt and valerie and asher. you are in my prayers and thoughts so often. good luck on the lesson. xoxo debby

Crystal said...

look what I found:

Elder Robert D. Hales said: “If the example we have received from our parents was not good, it is our responsibility to break the cycle. … Each person can learn a better way and in so doing bless the lives of family members now and teach correct traditions for the generations that follow” (“How Will Our Children Remember Us?” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 10).

beckyV said...

I love that quote by Elder Hales. It is exactly what I was thinking. Your family is incredibly strong because you broke the cycle, your contribution in that way is priceless!! I am always so impressed by what you have overcome in your life to get where you are today.

Ray began investigating the church because of my family. He grew up in Logan, UT as a non-member. That is a situation that will inevitably leave the non-member with a bad taste in their mouth about the church. He had some pretty strong feelings about the church, and they were not good. However, meeting my family, being loved unconditionally by them, seeing the example that they were changed that. It softened his heart and because he had so much respect for my dad he kept his word and ordered a video from a pass-along card my dad gave him. I have no doubt that all the prayers and fasting on the part of my family played a huge part in Ray joining the church and in the growth of his testimony after he joined the church. I believe that my family is largely responsible for where my family is today in an eternal sense.

I was also inactive for several years. I know that my family never stopped praying for me. When I was first going back to church I relied on their testimonies and their example to get me through my times of doubt. I know that I am where I am today because of the strength of my family.

Crystal said...

Thank you for the sentiments David and Debby, we do know we are loved and that is a wonderful thing.

and Wow, thanks for sharing, Becky! I do want to tell you guys what I ended up doing. I asked them to fill in the blanks:

It is not good that ____ should be alone.

_______ is the glory of man.

Through faith and patience, inherit the promises; becometh as a ______.

Faith dwelt first in thy _______ Lois and in thy ________ Eunice.

If a man love me, he will keep my words and my _______ will love him...

I am not sure how I started on that train of thought, but I did. The answers are (I am sure you were screaming them out in your head)...


I found these while doing a scripture study yesterday. Then we looked up

1 Peter 3:1
Mark 10:10-16
1 John 2:10

and we talked about the role of individuals making up a family and we talked about the family.

then I read a talk (never had done this before, but I was so impressed to read that!) which is where I found the Elder Hales' quote...


THEN I talked about how we individually choose our role in our family and that we should all CHOOSE to strengthen it.

I then picked up and passed around the picture of swans flying in unison with words from Moshiah 18:21. We read that and I bore my testimony that God is good and He loves us and knows that the true secret to happiness is finding love in our families. That is why he placed us in this sacred unit.

I do have a testimony that if we actively seek to strengthen our family, Heavenly Father will send to us enlightenment through the Spirit in how to do that. It is up to us to try to make our family more strong and that requires active involvement. I suppose realizing that is most important... and it does make me wish I had conversation and interaction with family more, but all the more reason to strengthen the family we DO have here.

David and Debby said...

Sorry I didn't get back to you with a story in time. That's the bad news, but it was beacause of the good news, which is that I worked all day yesterday on Asher's crib (the deadline is bearing down), and it is looking great. It will be near perfect. Can't wait to set it up for you.

Crystal said...

Aw, thank you! We really appreciate that! The lesson was fine ;-)

David and Debby said...

sounds like a great lesson. great job crystal!!! what an excellent teacher you are. debby

Jason and Dana said...

Crystal, you really are so impressive. You are changing the way you knew things to make a better life for your children. I'm sorry I didn't comment before, but I want you to know how happy I am that you're a part of our family. It's a better family because of you. I'm sure it wasn't the easiest to come into, but some day we'll all mesh together so well there won't be any seams and we'll forget when it was ever not that way.