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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

American Idol Time

So, what do you all think about Shibon getting the ax?  Who do you think will win?    Let's get the predictions out there.  Sorry for the blurry logo, but you get the idea.  Maybe it means AI is fading fast.   I think it will come down to Crystal and Lee.   I am really happy that Aaron is still on, though.     ??????

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Visit to Cleveland

Cleveland in the Spring is like Pocatello in the Spring - It can't make up its mind whether it's in Winter mode or Summer Mode, so Spring is both. So how is it that I end up there in the Spring every year?  If you don't like the present weather, just wait around a few minutes and it will probably change. Lots of rain, sometimes bitter humid cold, sometimes beautiful. So, last week Debby and I traveled to Cleveland to ride herd while Colin and Lori took a quick anniversary trip (translation: a rare chance for Grandma and Grandpa to bond with those distant grandkids.) I only stayed for a few days, just enough time for Colin and I to build a driveway gate for the fence he built last summer (ask him sometime about the other gate he used to have before he drove through it.) Then on Monday, we flew West, Colin and Lori to Vegas to have fun, and I  back to Pocatello to work, leaving Debby to watch over the progeny for another 5 days. You might think that was a lot to ask of her, but you know, no one had to twist her arm. Below is the photographic evidence.

Are these cool dudes or what!!?

The cowboy boots were Colin's when he was the age of Jack.  We've got another picture somewhere of Colin wearing them at that age.  We'll dig it up and post a side-by-side later on.

Is this about the saddest thing you've ever seen?

We invited also-Clevelandites, Cousin Holly and husband Mark over for Sunday dinner.  Holly's expecting their third.  Mark is in the Coast Guard, keeping the Great Lakes safe.  Great folk.

The Gate - designed to last, as long as nobody drives through it.

The Queen

All that from licking the spoon - more on him than in him.

The Cool Cat in the Hat

Grandma holding also-Clevelandite JT Nelson's new baby
All in all, it was a pretty good week, although Grandma was happy to turn the tribe back over to their parents, and Grandpa was happy to have Grandma come home.  Life is good.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


So. I can't sleep. I want to, but I have a terrible headache... then there is the stomach ache, the really scary news from a friend and horrifying news from my mom... and I have a lot on my mind.

Timing is a funny thing. Back in 2006, I was making all the preparations to move to Utah to work for a lovely lady at UofU. Suddenly, that fell totally through and I was "stuck" here with 2 weeks on a lease and no plans. I found myself in a house (I had been in a one bedroom apt, sleeping on the sofa for 2 years), with 2 jobs, still matriculating in my graduate program and... I met Matt. Literally, all within a month. It was all about the timing.

The past couple years have been... ahem... challenging. So challenging, in fact, I was pretty sure I was being punished for something I did not understand. And defiant. I was defiant and pretty sure that all this was unfair and "not right."

At the same time, a good friend of mine from college has been struggling with fertility. She and her husband spent tens of thousands and finally got miss Katie. Imagine my amusement when I got a text from Shannon Monday that said simply "We are going to need a minivan" because Shannon had been to the Dr to do preg. hormone testing. Shannon miscarried Wednesday and today got a call from the US government asking her to (finally) start the job she landed 3 months ago. Timing is a funny thing. Sometimes we are asked to bear so much in such a short time. Other times we skate by scot-free, other times the devastating is tempered by the joy. Always though, God's timing is perfection.

I see there was a measure of timing to this situation in my little family's experience. For sure, we are all better for the hardships we have journeyed through. Matt and I are still in love. We still REALLY love each other's company. My 13 year old still snuggles me at church. My baby ADORES. ADORES. his family. It is just wonderful, really, the love we have for each other and the strength we have found in our little family. We have also gained strength from the love of you all too. We have gotten letters, phone calls, emails, etc that just buoy us up from the depths... Always at a perfect time.

I am not sure why, but Matt got a job this week and I feel pretty good about the interview I had Tuesday. That interview experience did WONDERS for my self-worth. I will be honest. I have felt quite under-valued most of recent years, and that experience taught me that I do have value. Brilliant people like me and think I am brilliant too. That has always been the only thing I felt I had out-of-the-ordinary and of late, it has felt that my intelligence does not matter. It does though, it was a gift and I have used that gift. I use the gift to (hopefully) inspire others. I hand out career and summer-intern advise every day. I have many students who have told me that I am their favorite, yet often I have felt like I just don't matter. I was one of two asked to interview for a job that had many, many applicants, 47 of them seriously considered... Since Matt DOES have a job, honestly, it will be fine with me both ways if I get the fancy job or not. It is like a break in the clouds. Believe me, it is no fun to walk in darkness for so long and to feel so... isolated and compelled to maintain an arms-distance attitude for fear of the emotions that heart-felt sharing might release.

Anyway. I am grateful. I realize the Lord's timing is perfect and I really have no idea what He is doing, honestly, I don't, but I do have faith. I have the faith that things will work out the way they should and that I will be satisfied because, in all honesty, I am keeping my end of the bargain and God is bound to keep His.

anyway. I just wanted to share. What are your thoughts on timing?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mia's Advice

As all of you know I am in Cleveland, while Colin and Lori get a little anniversary vacation. It has been fun and exciting to be with Mia, Jack and Cole. They are wonderful grandchildren.

This morning we were walking to school. It is a pretty short walk, so we took B.O.B. Jack decided to walk, well actually, run to the school. He ran most of the way and then when we got up to the school grounds, he took a short rest in B.O.B. He quickly decided to get back out and run. Mia was already running ahead of Jackson, so as he started to run, Mia turned around and encouraged him,

"Never give up, Jack!"

Jack shouted back, "I won't, I won't."

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Asher is using the potty!! How insane is that?! I had not even planned to start until he was 2, but he is totally ready and not stressed out about it at all. In fact, he thinks it is the coolest thing ever. (ME TOO!).

I am really astonished by this little guy, he sure is something special.

This pollen is also something special. I was thinking for 3 days, I would have to go to the ER and deal with the issues of no insurance, but I think I am finally getting better, it was pretty scary though. I had a 104 fever, could only take shallow breaths, had a racing heart, fever/chills, muscle aches. In fact, I actually started thinking it was the swine flu ;-)

It is not the best time to be so sick, it is the most-insane time of the semester in terms of student projects, tests, papers, etc., AND I have a major interview all day Tuesday. I really could use your prayers. Also, you should read on my blog about the talk Julie Beck gave to three stakes locally yesterday. It was tremendously uplifting.

Cutie boy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Just Dance!!

My family,
Be prepared to battle it out in May.
Love you.

PS--Boys, Jason challenges you all. This is his favorite song on the game. Nice, right?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fear Factor

What's the grossest thing you've ever eaten. Tonight I topped my personal best. Once in China I tried snake. Tonight in Mexico, I tried a bug appetizer platter. It included sauteed ant eggs, fried grasshoppers and fried worms. Seriously...I ate fried worms! Granted everything I ate was in a tortilla smothered with guacamole and lime to mask any wierd flavors or textures, but still I did it. I have to say, the worst were the worms. The best were the ant eggs-- they actually had decent flavor.

Anyway, I told Alex and he thought I was crazy. The nortenos don't eat crazy food. They pretty much stick to beef and pork. I can't even get him to eat a chicken leg! Maybe as his mom sometimes say...I'm more Mexican than he is!

Lord, Please Bless This Junk Food

This will give you a good laugh as it relates to us all in more ways than one.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

To One of the Greatest........

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!
Is there a better inspiration than you? We love you! Hope your day is wonderful!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Praying Outside the Closet

He was praying all through dinner but we want to encourage him. Behold the messy, praying baby.

A Parent's Role

Now I don't know what everyone's opinion is of country music. Honestly I used to hate it. Now I like the songs that tell stories among others. This particular one took on new meaning today. At lunch time I got Asher in his high chair and before we started eating I asked him if he wanted to pray before we ate. To my overwhelming astonishment he bowed his head and started talking. I am often concerned that I get upset with him too easily or that I am setting a poor example for him. I want to be a good husband, father and provider and fulfill my roles and responsibilities. This particular experience helped me to feel grateful to Crystal for being a really great example to Asher and Valerie. Also, it made me glad to know that despite the fact that I do most things wrong I am still doing some things right.

When I tried to take a photo of him praying as he often does he would not perform for an audience.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Abby

I can remember it so clearly, almost like I was there!!  This sweet little girl eased into our lives.  She has been creating joy and harmony (mostly) ever since.  Now we can all look forward to a great reunion next month to celebrate the event of a lifetime.  We are so happy you and David found each other.  

Aunt Abby is so fun.  Look at how she adores those nieces and nephews!  Look at how she adores soon to be Uncle David!  She is also a wonderful gift receiver.  AND, she really knows how to have fun.  

We love you Abby!!!!!

Happy Twenty Eighth Birthday .


Mom and Dad

Moving is hard

As you can see, I really slaved away to get our old house cleaned and emptied out...

Another YOTA!

I'm nominating today to be a day we celebrate another YOTA - Year Of The Abby. In honor of said celebration, I propose we all enjoy something awesome today. I notice that Abby always has some thing awesome to be happy about. (That is more to say that she always seems to focus on the positive things in life.)

I think it's also fair to say that I'm not the only one that she has brought a smile to. Perhaps some of you have profited from this boondoggling, paper box making, music sharing, number crunching, and generally always smiling girl. While I wasn't there to appreciate the above mentioned talents, I can attest that Abby is one very special woman, and I'm excited that today is her birthday.

My parents are 7 years apart, and they always loved to tease me, as if I would suffer the same fate. What senior in high school wants to think that his wife is actually in 5th grade at that time? It's just not right. Except that it is. And such is my blessed luck! I will definitely be celebrating another Year Of The Abby, and look forward to many more.

Happy Birthday Abby!

(Incriminatingly cute pictures to come once I'm not logged in through work!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mammas and their babies

I have been thinking a lot about the talk Sunday afternoon by

Elder Bradley D. Foster: 'My mother told me'

And I saw THIS on Pioneer Woman and it made me teary. Silly thing, I am.

PS- this is Crystal, not Matt. He is signed in and I am not.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Following Counsel

Per Elder Hales' wise Conference counsel to parents, I speak for both Mom and I as I hereby inform all of you that we love you, and assure you that we have testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ.  In all seriousness, our life would be void and empty without the experiences and memories we have of each of you, as well as the future plans and aspirations we have for each of you.  This becomes progressively moreso as we increasingly understand the Plan of Salvation and our shared position within it.  We know that based on our faithfulness, our mortal relationships have been sealed on earth and will be sealed in heaven.  We know that the eternal lives we will share with our Father in Heaven and all eternal ancestors and posterity will be sublime, and well worth our diligence here on earth.  For each of us, our children, and their children, ad infinitum, will literally be our eternal increase, and our glorified reason for existing.

We know that none of this would be possible but for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  We know that our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ love us more intensely than we can understand, and that this love is what motivated them to create this world for us and give us agency to act, so that we could ultimately qualify for exalted kingdoms hereafter.  That love is what motivated the God of this earth, the Savior of our souls to sacrifice his own mortal life, to pay the price of our sins and thereby satisfy justice.  By doing this, He provided us an opportunity to overcome our mortal imperfections and thereby qualify for eternal life.  As He opens the door for our willful repentance, he promises forgiveness of our willful sins.  Through a lifetime of such focused repentance, we can learn to be one with Him and learn to love Him and others with that same degree of intensity He has for us.

p.s.  An interesting aside about repentance:  I was listening to financial guru, Dave Ramsey on the radio the other night.  As you may know, Dave Ramsey, as a devout born-again Christian, often discusses his impressions of the gospel on-air.  That night, he said something that exposed his and general Christianity's concept of repentance and its relative role in foregiveness.  In addressing a caller's question about bankruptcy, Ramsey admitted that earlier in his life he had to file bankruptcy. Years later when he learned to apply more discipline and became financially independent, he felt God directing him to go back and reconcile principle and interest to all the creditors he had left hanging back then.  He said this was a very onerous process, since many of the financial records from that far back had been destroyed, but ultimately he succeeded in repaying all of the old debt.  As a creditor myself, who has had to write off substantial bankruptcy debt, I see his desire to reconcile as a very commendable and honest act.

In our financial system, risk is necessary, and bankruptsy happens.  In that setting, although creditors may be hurt by it, they assume the risk in the beginning, and must accept it as a necessary outlet for financial failure.  As such, our legal system does not require reconciliation.  In his discussion however, Ramsey was treating bankruptsy as though it was at least an act of unfairness to others and therefore, wrong.  We (Mormons) know that reconcilitation is part of repentance, and in such a circumastance, we would feel driven to reconcile as much as possible before turning it over to the Savior to atone for the rest.  It appeared Ramsey had a similar sense about it for himself, because he felt directed by God to reconcile it when he became able.  But then he said something to the caller that set up an obvious paradox for me.  It exposed his true understanding of his "Christian" doctrine.  He said, that even though he (Ramsey) had felt special direction to take that action, neither the caller nor anyone else with that problem need attempt reconciliation to be forgiven, because if we simply accept Christ, the mercy in His Atonement automatically forgives us, regardless of our actions. "Otherwise," he said, "why have mercy?"   This statement was inconsistent with his own actions, but also with what I know.  Immediately, in my mind, his words set up a contrast between grace and works.  We (Mormons)know that both are necessary and must be balanced.  This is a glaring dichotomy between general Christianity and Mormonism.

Anyone can say that they accept Christ, but how do they validate those words? How do they confirm to Him that they really mean it? I believe there is no better way than to repent and absolutely relinquish misdeeds. And, true repentance demands physical reconciliation to whatever degree is possible.  As I considered this, I thought of Alma's discussion (Alma 42) but I also remembered a very interesting passage I had recently read in a Hugh Nibley book which helped me understand how this dichotomy developed.

Diversion between the Bible and recently discovered Apocryphal writings indicate that sometime during the dark ages, priests of the University of Alexandria (Egypt) became fixated on all things mystical.  Not having the moderating affect of revelation, they abandoned any doctrines which were not sufficiently mysitcal or allogorical. They tried to spiritualize everything - to cut out anything that was material, real, tangible, or literal, regardless of common sense.  If a doctrine from old writings was too plain, too literal or too tangible, it was thereby too juvenile, and not worthy of their consideration, and they gradually deleted such doctrines from any future copies of the text.  By this process, they systematically denatured the Bible and robbed it of the things that otherwise made it familiar and interesting. This is essentially the process by which the plain and precious things, which had been present from the beginning, were gradually removed from the Bible.  The physical nature of God was probably one of these.  The priests wanted Him to be etherial and incomprehensible.  The doctrine of balancing works with grace was also likely one of these simple and plain, though essential and precious doctrines that were removed.  Nibley suggested that by this process Christianity became anemic, devoid of animation and life blood.  Today, Christianity diminishes works and repentance by taking personal, physical accountability out of the equation. Members are no longer required to demonstrate their commitment, but only to proclaim it.  Anyway, I believe this is how we got to where we are.  Thank goodness for the restoration and ongoing revelation.

Favorite Talk and Why

I am just wondering what you all found to be your "favorite talks" this spring session of Conference and why. I, for one, definitely needed conference. I have been rushing through life the last several months just barely surviving. Many times a week, I nearly fall asleep in the middle of prayers and while often, I feel a deep sense of love and spirituality reading scriptures, I have felt a little separated from those feelings. What did you love and why?

PS- 80 degrees for many days with not a cloud in the sky- is it true that it SNOWED in Washington state and Idaho?