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.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Chipman at work (play?)

Lately I’ve been feeling very self-absorbed with all the time I’ve been spending with moving, finding a house, and then moving into said house. And David has been in Korea almost two weeks now so that is starting to get to me. Sooo, the timing of this birthday wish was so perfect. No better way to stop thinking about yourself than a little good ol’ fashioned service, right?! Thank you, mom, for using your special occasion to make all of us better people.

I spent a lot of time searching for what exactly I wanted to do – LA has plenty of opportunities, but I wanted it to be meaningful. This is what I finally found:

JA Finance Park

Finance Park teaches junior high/high school kids to be financially literate. This is a cause I feel very strongly about, so this was a perfect find for me. They have “adult for a day” events, where these kids each get a different real-life scenario (marital status, career, number of children, salary, etc) and they are to spend the day choosing housing and transportation, figuring out which insurance plans to get, paying bills, donating to charities, and figuring out how to budget their money all the while. The program director actually said, “It’s like the Disneyland of financial literacy!” Are you geeking out about this place? I was.

Today I mentored three ladies from the local YWCA at Finance Park as they learned the ins and outs of personal finance. Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of any of them because they were all minors. There was a photographer wandering around documenting the whole time and I begged him to send me some pics. We’ll see if it happens.

I got to walk Iana, Tai, and Esther through the process, and I talked to them about the importance of saving, paying down credit card debt, understanding what bills you have control over and what you don't...you know, adult-type stuff.

Iana, a senior, was very competitive about the event. She flew through everything and was the first one done out of the entire group with each task. I think I had to help her twice. She says she wants to go to Stanford, and you know what? I think she’ll get in with a scholarship.

Since Iana was so self-sufficient, I spent most of my time with the other two. Esther is in 8th grade. She has a quiet determination about her. She was the only one in the group who definitely does not like math, but she held her own beautifully and didn’t let Iana’s speediness get her down. Slow and steady, that’s her way.

Tai is in 7th grade and she already knows exactly where she’s going to college and what she’s going to do to get a scholarship. Of the three, she was the most in touch with financial reality. She fully embraced the activity and took each section seriously, as if she were making real decisions about what would work for her, her pretend-spouse, and their two pretend-kids. She’s a saver, and she’s selfless about what she does spend: when she did the section on buying clothes for her family and realized that she’d be spending more on clothes for herself than anyone else, she changed her selection.

Sometimes it was frustrating for them. It was hard to understand why you have to subtract so much at the very start for taxes. When things didn’t balance out and they realized they’d have to make cuts, it was hard for them to cut out some entertainment, or get a car that wasn’t as nice, or make adjustments to the groceries or insurance so they could afford it. They had spent a lot of time thinking about each decision, and going back to change things was difficult. You could see the clarity coming to them as they realized that this is what life in the real world is like, and yet you have to make it work anyway. That was the point of the event - we were giving them tools to make it work, regardless of their situation.

This was quite a fulfilling day for me. I think I’ll probably go back again for more.

(Here's my one sneaky shot of some of the girls who attended.)

Happy birthday, Mom! I love you!


David and Debby said...

abby, you are awesome. this really was so perfect for you. i will love hearing about future experiences. what a treat for them to have you helping. i think all three of those future consumers have benefited so much from your tutoring. the anticipation was worth it. you have such a good heart. thank you, thank you, thank you. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Crystal said...

Man, I wish I had been able to do this in high school. I was given NO training or advise, and I would have really benefit from such an experience. You are right- it was a perfect project for you!

Jason and Dana said...

That is awesome! And that place looked pretty fancy. Like a childrens museum for teenagers. Thanks for sharing. It is incredible the good we can do in the world.
Thanks for sharing Abby.

Jason and Dana said...

So, SO perfect for you!!! I bet you had as much fun as the kids. What a great concept. Whoever put that place together is awesome. So many different things we could do if we only took the time to think about it. I was thinking today it would have been fun to do something in Cascade, since mom loves that place so much and they have so few to help and much need. In the future! The ball is rolling.

David and Debby said...

That's so great Abby. Plainly said, now those young people won't experience sticker shock when they become real adults and find out what a slog accountability can be. What a great lesson of life you have taught them.

Crystal said...

PS exactly, WHY do so many taxes come out first?