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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Mayflower

Leslie Croshaw
Debby Christensen
Callie Scott
Winona Stone
Lonnie Wing
George Wing
Archibald Wing
Thurston Wing
Hannah White
Willian White
Samuel White
Resolved White (Mayflower)
Also from William White
Hanah Hathaway
Sarah Cooke
John Cooke (Mayflower)
Francis Cook + Hester Mahieu (Mayflower)
Richard Warren (Mayflower)

How many of you knew that we had ancestors that came over on the Mayflower?! I was in San Francisco last week and saw a friend who's in charge of family history for the singles' ward. We started talking about it, and she pulled out her computer and we started looking at my lineage...and look what we found. I suddenly felt so American...our ancestors were pilgrims and this makes us something like 12th generation! I found that we had relatives from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland and of course, England. The oldest record I found was of an ancestor born in 1389 in Ireland!! And that's only the Scott side of the family. I haven't even started to look at the Christensens, Croshaws or Pooles.

But really...more overwhelming than the sudden sense of patriotism I felt was the spiritual turning of my heart. The spirit of Elijah was definitely working on me as I looked through generations and generations of our ancestors' names. If you haven't seen it, the church has a really cool new family history website: new.familysearch.org. You're able to set up your own pedigree chart, and then you can link to ancestors who are already in the system. It shows you who has and who hasn't received temple ordinances. If you link them to yourself, as I have done, the site allows you to easily do the work for them the next time you go to the temple. I can't believe I've been doing temple work for perfect strangers all of these years, when I've had so many ancestors waiting. I've made a commitment to myself, starting today, that when I go to the temple, I will only do work for my ancestors. (Until it's all done, of course.) In fact, I think we should make it a family goal! What do you think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Colby

4 years old!
Stay tuned for pictures....check out the blogadillos for them.


I was in San Francisco for work last week, and I didn't think twice when I arrived at immigration in Monterrey on Saturday afternoon and the guy stamping my passport had a mask on. I've been traveling to Asia for years and am used to seeing many masked people. Since the outbreak of SARS in 2003, people have been extra cautious and are still (6 years later) using masks to try to protect themselves and others. I met my cute hubby in the airport and he asked me if I'd heard what was happening with Swine Flu. Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, I hadn't. We watched the udpates on TV and saw things escalating somewhat, but it all still seemed to be under control.

On Sunday at church the usual suspects were there, but people were cautious about greeting others with a kiss if they had any type of cold. On Sunday night we went to Alex's parents house for an overdue birthday party for his dad and many others who had birthdays in the month of April. Alex was checking the news on his phone (he's an addict), and saw that the Mexico Secretary of Education had closed all schools and canceled all classes for the week. (My thought...Mexicans finally get their snow day!) They've discouraged any large gatherings of people, so all church activities, institute and Sunday services have been canceled as well. I thought they were overreacting, but then again, Mexicans are the ones who have been worst affected by the mutated little monster. I checked CNN when I got home and saw that the U.S. government had not sealed any borders and had not issued any travel warnings, so I thought I'd be fine for my trip to Miami the next day.

On Monday morning (yesterday) I left Monterrey and boarded a plane bound for Dallas, TX and then later Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I was sitting in the Dallas airport waiting for my delayed flight to Ft. Lauderdale, when an email from my boss popped up on the screen of my blackberry. It was a general email addressed to a large number of us, regarding the company's reaction to the swine flu. The email bascially said that any Mexican employees should not plan travel to the U.S. within the foreseeable future and U.S. employees should not travel to Mexico. He also said that if any U.S. employees were in Mexico, they should return to the U.S. immediately and then plan to work from home for 10 days. I replied "In Dallas, left Mexico this morning, waiting for flight to Ft. Lauderdale. What should I do?" He called immediately. He hadn't remembered where I was going to be this week. He told me to go home (back to Monterrey) and to stay there for at least 10 days. The company doesn't want to risk infecting U.S. employees by any who might have been infected. See! I'm officially Mexican!

Seriously, it has been very interesting to be in the middle of this. I work from home and interact with so few people that it's very unlikely I'd be exposed. So...here I sit in my little home that I've spent 2 of the last 3 weeks away from and am so happy to be here. Happy to have the internet that allows me to work from anywhere. Happy I have my food storage, which would tide me over through any short term disaster. At the rate they're shutting things down here, the grocery stores may be next. Not to be dooms day, but it occurred to me as we were shopping last night, that the disasters of the future may be biological. It may happen that people may not want to leave their homes for fear of infection of some horrendous disease. At that point in time, we would be grateful for having listened to the words of a prophet.

In other news, Alex and I will be moving to South Florida. Levi's has an office there, and I've been asked to relocate. It seems like it'll be a good market for Alex's furniture, lots of modern/contemporary stuff. We'll probably make the move sometime mid-July. I'll let you know when I know more. We expect many if not all of you to visit us as soon as we're settled in. As the famous Will Smith has said, "Bienvenidos a Miami!".

Sunday, April 26, 2009

None Were With Him

Last week in sacrament mtg someone quoted this talk and it stuck with me. Then again today a speaker quoted it, and I wanted to share. It was from this conference, but I must have not been paying attention during Elder Holland's talk, because I don't remember hearing this. Now that I think about, I remember hearing the beginning of his talk, but not this part...
Now I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour . . . is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”?

With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required; indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.

He knows. When we are hurting, He knows exactly how we feel. When we are lost, He knows just what we're going through. When we screw up we might not have His spirit with us, but if we will turn to Him, He will share our burden. Jesus Christ experienced it all so that he could be our comfort and our savior. And He will be if we just let Him.

Here is the entire talk: None Were With Him

(And just FYI, I just made my first batch of Yummy Zonkers EVER, that I've made all by myself, for our FBE treat. Can you believe that?)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma Christensen

As all of you know, we had a surprise party for Grandma last Saturday (April 18). The biggest surprise of all is that we actually did surprise her. Heather had invited her to go to a 'legacy luncheon' at a ward here in town, for the singles and their grandmothers. Anyway, it was a wonderful day. Teresa was in charge of the food and table decorations, and did an incredible job. Here are some of the photos of that delightful afternoon.

In one photo you can see the back of Grandma's head, between Ray and Heather.

She had such a great time visiting. The table with the tulips was the sign in table. There were great pictures of Grandma on the table.

There is a photo of Grandma and Mr. Chambers, her boss and his wife and Grandma. He was in the 6th ward when we lived there, only he was Pres. Chambers to you guys, councilor to Pres. Hofman, and also a photo of three ladies she worked with in the Registrar's Office, then a couple of family photos.
Actually, Grandma was kind of upset because she didn't even get a birthday cake:). I obviously can't quite figure out how to put the caption with the actual photo. I'll figure it out someday.

Happy Birthday, Mom.
David and Debby


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I did not watch it closely (due to the unexpected visit from missionaries), but I did not like Matt, Lil or Anoop. I think Allison and Danny are amazing and I like Adam, but I really did NOT get that song. Also... I think Lil is really great, for whatever reason she is just not shining like Fantasia or Kelly did, but she has the ability.

I like Kris, but I do not like that he spells his name with a K.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Here it is~

Thank you for all of your help. I only hope it is what I am supposed to be saying. It felt good to write, made me tear up at times, but I have this odd sense of confusion all around me. I have all week... anywhere, here it is. Now I need to take a look at my lesson book. I get to teach on Patriarchal Order for young women tomorrow.

Today I am going to start by telling you about something every one of us here today have in common. It is something I learned my second semester of graduate school. My professor, Barry Condron, taught about the pioneer neurons. These neurons are present very early in the developing animal- from roundworm, to fly, to mouse, to frog to human. They are born and then send forward extensions from their cell body to establish a path from the site of their birth to their final destination. At some points they turn, at other points they move actively toward a source of chemical. At yet other places, this same chemical, in a different surrounding, is repulsive to the pioneer. The little pioneer continues however, onward, forward, minding the surroundings, paying attention to all the signs, signals and cues provided by the growing embryo which changes at a remarkable rate, all the changing with the embryo appropriately until at last, it reaches its target, often a very long distance from its birth. Then it dies. But all is not lost, later generations of neurons are able to follow the invisible (and poorly understood “tracks”) of the pioneers, reaching the target in remarkable time, following the “steps” of one which made the ultimate sacrifice to provide a perfect, and easier way for later generations. The only thing the later generations have to do is follow the signs.

When I learned about pioneer neurons, something spiritual happened to me. I understood on a level outside all academic comprehension this program for patterning the organ that makes intelligent life intelligent. Very alive in me was a feeling I had recognized, hearkened to and followed all of my life to make good, correct and right decisions. For the first time in my life, I felt a spiritual affirmation that what I was learning in an academic setting was True. With a capital T. My point in telling you this story has 2 levels. 1) The recognition of truth –v- lie, right –v- wrong, light –v- dark is available for all of us as a free gift from God. It is called the Light of Christ. It was that gift that in me struck a chord so that I knew what I was learning was right, true, and good. And number 2) God is good. His plan is echoed throughout all of nature and experience, we but only have to look around to see this. Learning and exploring will reveal many spiritual truths in areas we may not think of on the outside as spiritual at all.

In preparing for this talk, I felt strongly to share with you about pioneering neurons, but I did not know why. When I took the advise of my brother-in-law and read a talk by Elder Packer, I realized how I could tie this story to my thoughts on the light of Christ, the Spirit of God…

Elder Packer shared in his 2004 talk (a few months before I met the missionaries)

The Spirit of Christ can enlighten the inventor, the scientist, the painter, the sculptor, the composer, the performer, the architect, the author to produce great, even inspired things for the blessing and good of all mankind.

I said, “yes! Yes!” to this in my mind and almost out loud. It is a feeling I have often had in the most odd of situations… including seeing a stirring photograph, or hearing amazing music (not specifically about the Gospel) and in reading the final chapters in the last Harry Potter book…
Elder Packer continues:
It can inspire the student who listens. And of enormous importance, it can inspire husband and wife, and father and mother.
This inner Light can warn and guard and guide. But it can be repulsed by anything that is ugly or unworthy or wicked or immoral or selfish.
The Light of Christ existed in you before you were born (see D&C 93:23, 29–30), and it will be with you every moment that you live and will not perish when the mortal part of you has turned to dust. It is ever there.

What comfort that brought to my soul. It is a feeling I had always had, yet not been able to communicate for lack of words to express my deepest feelings as a person. Elder Packer went on to say:

Every man, woman, and child of every nation, creed, or color—everyone, no matter where they live or what they believe or what they do—has within them the imperishable Light of Christ. In this respect, all men are created equally.

With the eyes of our understanding, we see things that are spiritual. With our spirits reaching out, we can touch things that are spiritual and feel them. Then we can see and we can feel things that are invisible to the physical senses. Remember, Nephi told his rebellious brothers, who had rejected a message from an angel, “Ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words”

The basis for my thoughts were suggested to me by Brother Brady. They come from 1 Corinthians, chapter 2.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. …

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:10, 13–14).

In modern revelation, Christ spoke of “the light which shineth, which giveth you light [and] enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings” (D&C 88:11).

Matt’s sister Dana said this about it… The light of Christ is goodness. It is all that He stands for and is. It is what makes us choose the right every single day, along with the Holy Ghost.

I want to share with you a life-altering experience, in short, with following the Light of Christ. It happened in the spring and summer of 2004. Things were not good at home, my marriage was not a healthy one, and more-importantly, my daughter was suffering greatly from it. I knew this on every level, as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, but most importantly, my heart told me things were not good. I have always used the Sprit of God- or Light of Christ- as my guide and I knew with all of my being, things were not good. I began attending my church days other than Sunday- in fact- I would go every time there was anything going on at church and for a while, that was every day… and I lived an hour away… with my daughter. One day, I told my ex-husband I wanted our home to be a place where Valerie felt loved, built-up, happy, secure and he agreed, but within a very short period of time, it became clear that although he agreed intellectually, his essential self was not committed to providing this.

I left. I had no supportive family, but I had an amazing group of friends, truly selfless collegues, and… a church to help me feel grounded.

About 2 weeks of being homeless found me suddenly with an apartment within which I promised my daughter she would have all the things I talked about a moment ago. One sunny evening as I was cooking, I got that knock of the door. It was missionaries. Elder Drumm and Elder Harding wanting to know if I wanted to hear about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I normally stayed far away from the missionaries, but this time, I said yes, accepted a book of mormon and invited them to talk with me. Thus it began. I was very involved in my other church and for a couple months, I was attending both churches on Sunday, going t my church on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday mornings and having the missionaries over on Tuesdays and Thursday nights. One night, they brought a DVD with them. I still have it. They could see I was so affected by the story of Joseph Smith that I was visibly changed. After they left, I tried to find in my book of mormon, Joseph Smith’s history specifically so I could feel the way that I felt when Elder Harding recited for me from memory, the testimony shared about Joseph Smith’s vision of Christ.

That Sunday, I went to “my” church and sat in Sunday school as we discussed the Good Samaritan and then I heard for the rest of the hour about how awful homeless people are, how dishonest and addicted they all are, and then I struggled as our preacher said sincerely, “man, I sure hope none of them are Christ” referiing to the teachings of Christ on this earth. As the youngest in that group, I felt so intimidated, but I spoke up then and said “When I see a homeless person, I look into their eyes and see sadness, I look at their skin and see a hard life, I see them sweating or shivering and think about my central air. I feel bad. I give what I can, I never have regretted it.” Everyone stared at me, no one commented, then we went on to our next meeting. When I shared that exchange with my friend, he suggested I look up Mosiah 4 after our talk in my new book of mormon. I read the whole chapter and cried when I got to verse 19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? And then again at 21… And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.”

I am so grateful that my friend allowed me to discover that myself. It remains one of my favorite sciptures as I remember the backstory every time I read it.

As I continued my dual church identity, ‘my” church began a study of the book of Acts- so that we could try to become more like the members of the church Christ established while He was on earth. In my missionary discussions, we had been talking about baptism for a while but I just could not commit. I found it almost offensive to hear that I did not and could not have the Gift of the Holy Ghost until baptism into the LDS church by one with the proper authority when I was so accustomed to living by the feelings I knew where from Christ. On week 8, we talked about Acts chapter 8- listen to this and picture me and my dual church identity… Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
My heart started pounding. Our preacher looked up and asked…”what do you think that happened for?” and I said “because their baptism was not complete?” and he said “well, I don’t think that is the case necessarily…” then he asked “Why don’t we do that now during baptisms?” and I said “the proper authority is not in this church” and he looked at me and said “I think you are wrong. Things have changed with time.”

I do not remember the rest of the meeting, except I made no more comments, but in my car, after I got my daughter strapped in, I called the missionaries and committed to baptism.

The light of Christ is what led me to be able to believe and accept what I was learning- about Joseph Smith and about the Holy Ghost. At times, I wanted to just tell the missionaries I was fine in my church, but I also loved the peace and awesome way my whole life felt as I was being taught. I am so glad I let the Light of Christ guide me during that entire time, not the scared shadows lurking in my mind.

I want to end with some thoughts by Elder Wirthlin on this subject and some wise advise from my sister-in-law, Leslie and my mother in law.

This Spirit of Christ fosters everything that is good, every virtue (see Moro. 7:16). It stands in brilliant, indestructible opposition to anything that is coarse or ugly or profane or evil or wicked (see Moro. 7:17).

Conscience affirms the reality of the Spirit of Christ in man. It affirms, as well, the reality of good and evil, of justice, mercy, honor, courage, faith, love, and virtue, as well as the necessary opposites—hatred, greed, brutality, jealousy

As the sun gives life and light to the earth, a spiritual light gives nourishment to our spirits. We call this the Light of Christ. The scriptures teach us that it “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Thus, all mankind can enjoy its blessings. The Light of Christ is the divine influence that allows every man, woman, and child to distinguish between good and evil. It encourages all to choose the right, to seek eternal truth, and to learn again the truths that we knew in our premortal existence but have forgotten in mortality.

Leslie was sure to remind me, both the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost can be ignored. They are tools available for our use, but no one's forcing us to use them.

As to how we should be using this gift as a guide in our own lives, Matt’s mom shared some great thoughts; One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes.
We should lower the noise level in our homes so that the noise of the world will not overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost.

If we feel promptings to do something good for another person, we need not talk ourselves out of that act- or wonder if it is us or the Holy Spirit. If it is a good thing, we should do as we are prompted, we will be blessed.

I do have a testimony of the Light of Christ. It is by this incredible gift that despite every seeming thing around me, I was able to make good choices and do things that made me into a person I wanted to be. I fall off from time to time, but I am happy to say that I have been so used to the feeling it is to have the Holy Ghost and to following the path lit by the Light of Christ that I am able to correct my course, commune with my God and seek intervention through my Savior. I love the Gospel because it has made me a better mom, wife, student, teacher… and person. I am grateful we get to take an active part in our salvation by the choices we make and it is my full and true understanding that this is an opportunity we all have through and because of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Bear my testimony...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Spirit of God

I was asked today to give a talk Sunday on the Sprit of God (from 1 Corinthians 2) and I was hoping for (lengthy) thoughts on how you would explain the difference between the Spirit (or Light of Christ) and the Holy Ghost. I had felt for most of my life, the Spirit. It is how I survived (how I continue to survive) and it is different than the Holy Ghost, which for me, has an almost physical feeling of accompaniment with it. When the missionaries told me I did not have the Holy Ghost, I was almost offended having experienced such promptings of the Spirit and the love of Christ for all of my prior 28 years. It was a feeling of insanity that I am glad I have come to terms with in a way that was incredibly precious to me. I would love your thoughts though.

Please leave your thoughts with me about this. I think it is a point that is very important that I try to touch on.

And I know. the timing is impeccable. Not really sure what to think of it. This is only the second talk I have been asked to give in this ward.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The East Coast Croshaws

Abby, and about the only photo of Dana while she was there.

The spectacular Washington, D.C. temple.

Grandma, on her 80th Birthday!!!

Coloring Easter Eggs

Darling baby Cole

Darling baby Asher in his new crib.

Jason, you were sorely missed.

We just got home from a trip to Cleveland (fence building, painting, repairing, playing, painting with Mia and Jack, reading books, ...) with the Colin Croshaw family, then to Carlisle, PA to pick up the crib in transit, David to Matt and Crystal's to deliver and install the crib, while Debby and Lori (Mia, Jack and Cole, of course) went to Washington, D.C. I helped Abby get some things ready for the temple the next day, visited her campus (American University), and made runs to the airport. Grandma Christensen came as well as Dana to share with Abby her new temple experience. It was a glorious day. We all enjoyed being together in the temple, and felt a bit like we were in heaven already. Sunday we went to Abby's ward, where her choir put on a beautiful Easter program. It doesn't get much better than this. The only thing that would have made it better is if Leslie and Becky had been there (with their families).
Alex got his Residency Visa!!! Congratulations Alex and Leslie. Now where will you live?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Abby!!!


What a wonderful part of our family you are. Twenty seven years ago today, at around 9:30 mountain time, you came into this world. Your arrival was anxiously anticipated for a couple of years before you came. You bring joy and happiness into our lives, and especially bring joy to your nieces and nephews. When you were a preschooler you went to 'Joy School", and you have been spreading joy ever since, at least most of the time. Have a happy day, and we will see you in three days. We can't wait to be in the temple with you. Dad just got a call from Mary Lou, and they just received their mission call--TO THE WASHINGTON, D.C. TEMPLE. You will probably get to see them more than we did when they lived in Robin. The assortment of photos was quite limited. I may put a few young pictures of you on when I get home. We love you, and can't wait to hear of your exciting African adventures. xoxoxo Mom and Dad

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Born in the U.S.A.--- Not

Illegal immigration is all over the news these days, and has been for as long as I can remember, but when do you actually hear anything about the people who do it right?

I found the following (thank you census bureau!):

- Since 1820 approximately 74 million people have been granted permanent residency in the U.S. Some of those people may have been our pioneer ancestors!

- In 2008 approximately 188,000 Mexicans were granted permanent resident status in the U.S. (31,000 Dominicans, 75,000 Chinese and 45,000 Russians)

- I thought I was special marrying a foreigner, but in 2008 35,000 American's foreign spouses were granted permanent resident status.

- In 2008 17,000 foreign babies were adopted by American parents. Almost 4,000 of those babies were from China.

- In 2008, a record number of persons (1,046,539) were naturalized as citizens of the United States of America. The leading countries of birth of new citizens were Mexico (231,815), India (65,971), the Philippines (58,792), China (40,017), and Cuba (39,871). The largest number of persons naturalizing lived in California (297,909), Florida (128,328), and New York (90,572).
Today we leave for Ciudad Juarez. Tomorrow Alex has a medical exam he has to pass, and Friday is his (our) interview with the U.S. consulate (pictured above). If all goes well, he'll have his visa on Friday afternoon and will then be granted permanent resident status the next time we enter the U.S.
Unfortunately, he's not feeling great. He came home last night feeling achy, dizzy and a little sick to his stomach. He's a little bit better today, but it's really not a great time for him to be coming down with something. Thanks so much for all of your letters and support up to this point, but please pray for him...and for me. I think I'm nervous enough for the 2 of us! I'll post again after the interview.