Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hate the Sin But Love the Sinner

I have spent days pondering that thought.  Hate the sin but love the sinner.  Sometimes I know I need to blog about something but it takes some time to ponder and pray about it before I can do it.  This is one of those.  Interestingly what brought me to this was something I read a few days ago and when I decided to write about this I went back to reread the quote and I can't find it.  I feel like I have read everything again that I read last week but I can't find it anywhere.  I've about decided that the Lord just had it appear in my mind I as I was studying because I needed to hear it again.  The premise of the quote is that you can never force any one to change no matter what you do or say, the only way that we will see change in people is to love them into changing.  I know this, I have heard it said in many different ways for years, but sometimes I forget it and my actions don't portray that.  I get so caught up it fear, hurt and disappointment  that I become abrasive in my words and actions.  These wayward people are good wonderful children of God.  They have just lost their way for a time.  I believe there is so much self loathing on their part that we do not need to add to that in any way.  Sometimes we try to portray the sin as despicable and what we end up portraying is that they are despicable and that is so far from the truth.  Love will always be the more excellent way to help them.  Love has the power to produce miracles.  We should never underestimate the healing power of a warm smile or kind expression.  At times I've thought if I am too warm and loving is that showing I condone their behavior.  I've come to the conclusion that No, it does not.  There still needs to be natural consequences of choices but love should never be diminished. Those who are making poor choices, going against values that have been taught to them know very well that they are not living the way they should.  They don't need to be reminded constantly of things they are doing or not doing.  They are completely aware of their actions.
  Another way of thinking about these loved ones who are causing anguish in our lives is to remember that the purpose of their behavior may be to help us perfect love in ourselves not to perfect them.  We probably need them as much as they need us.  That knowledge is sometimes difficult to process, but I believe it to be true.  I know I'm a much better compassionate understanding person because of what I have been through.  Unfortunately I still have so much more to learn.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


 This past week Jeff has been so sick with a cold.  When Jeff gets a cold it is always horrific.  He can get sicker with the common cold than anyone I know.  As soon as he mentions he is getting a sore throat or a stuffy nose I know what is to follow.  Because he has felt so rotten we have watched a few movies.  One day from RedBox we rented "Courageous".  Wow, what an incredible message portrayed in this movie.  It is a Christian show about fatherhood that touches the heart.  I was gone when Jeff watched it first and he mentioned to me as soon as I got home that he wanted to buy it for all of his sons.  As soon as I watched it I knew why.  Jeff it explained it best.  He said:  "It is a Mormon Message done by the Southern Baptists."  I believe everyone should watch this movie.  Take a couple of hours to relax and enjoy.  You will be a better person for having seen it.

Another night when I returned home this is what I found.  We had been tending Lucy and this is how they spent the evening.  Supposedly they were watching TV.  They both were feeling under the weather.   How great they could be together!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Parlez-vous Francais?

This is the book that I received this Christmas from Jeff.  We are going to France this year, actually "Paris in the Spring" to be exact!!  How excited am I?  Jeff has been so great to do many things out of his comfort zone for me since we married, but I wasn't sure I would get him to Europe.  We are doing a World War 2 tour going from England to France.  Jeff loves WW2 history so I do believe that was the selling point but I will take whatever I can get.  We are spending several more days after the tour traveling with our good friends the Richards.  Cal served his mission in France so he will be a wonderful tour guide and translator. Since Jessi is also going to Europe this summer with a high school group and will be visiting France, we decided  we should learn a little of the language before we go.  Our community has various night classes and Beginning French was offered so we decided that would be just the class we needed.  We met for the first time this week.  We both know a little Spanish but no French.  Maybe a little overwhelming, but what an incredible experience it will be to learn a little of this beautiful language.

Because I am a huge advocate of learning and taking advantage of every opportunity I thought it was obvious we would take a French Class.  Jessi's boyfriend kept questioning our thoughts.  Jessi finally told him that for the Croslands to spur of the moment sign up for a class on some random subject was totally normal.  I love community ed classes, I love learning and I love encouraging my children to experience everything they possibly can.  We have been taught if there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.  These community classes are such a great value.  I began to think of the classes that I have randomly taken.  I have learned digital photography, photoshop, dutch oven cooking, Spanish, Quick Books and Jeff and all of the boys have taken fly fishing.  I know there are many more in the past that I have enjoyed.  There are so many things to learn and so little time.  It's too bad we have to clean house and cook meals.  Oh well.  We do what we can do.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now

Jeff and I were snowmobiling yesterday at Daniels Summit with the employees that work for Jeff.  We started out with beautiful blue skies and within minutes we were snowmobiling in a blizzard, a serious blizzard.  I truly began to doubt our sanity as we continued trying to follow the paths for the next several hours.  We returned safely, a little sore and cold, but a great adventure behind us.  As we headed down the mountain this morning as were returning home I couldn't help but notice how clear and clean the air seemed to be.  Living on the Wasatch Front we are plagued with inversions and smog almost constantly, yet the massive snow storm had cleared out all of the gunk for the time being.  As we were driving I kept thinking about how we need to move somewhere where there is always clean air.  How unhealthy it is to live with all the pollution.  Then my thoughts turned to clean thoughts and clean lives and what a difference it makes to someones countenance when they are trying to be clean from sin and temptation.  Even if I never live where the air is clean I definitely want to strive to always feel clean and see life more clearly because I am living close to the spirit.  How sad to watch loved ones lose that clear clean look in their eyes as they slip away from doing the right thing.  How grateful I am for repentance that gives me the opportunity to become clean when I fall.  It's kind of like the storm that clears the air.  We need to feel the discomfort before we can enjoy the brightness.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Teach the Little Children

In today's world we are bombarded with filth, evil and anti-Christ messages.  As I reflect on life when I was young compared to now the deterioration in morals has been overwhelming.  How I worry about the atmosphere that our grandchildren will be raised in.  If the situation of the world continues its downward trend it is going to be an incredibly wicked era for them.  No wonder we are admonished time and again to teach our children while they are small.  The very young now are going to be the generation who will need to be strong to prepare the world for the Second Coming.  It seems to me that these little children crave spiritual nourishment.  They have an innate desire to increase their knowledge for righteous things.  In the past week I have experienced the joy of watching our grandchildren being taught by parents who care.

While I was in Oklahoma I listened intently as Carrie put the kids to bed she would tell them marvelous stories from the Book of Mormon.  She would question them on what they learned the night before and they could recall it.  They loved listening to her tell these stories.

When I returned from vacation I was fortunate enough to tend Tyler and Carly's little girls.  Lucy can sing every single word of "I Am A Child of God" without help.  At times when we weren't having her sing to show off I would still hear her singing the words quietly to herself.  There is no greater message about her true parentage that could be instilled in her.

Last night Amy and Luke and their children were eating dinner with us.  Blake said that she wanted to bless the food.  Her next remark was; "I won't pray all night."  I glanced at Amy to see the meaning of this and Amy mentioned they had been learning about Enos from the Book of Mormon and how he had prayed all night.  Obviously Blake had remembered the details of this wonderful story and was reassuring us that she would give a short prayer not an all night prayer.

These children are all under the age of 5.  Macey, Lucy and Blake are 3.  How wonderful that they have parents who realize the importance of teaching children while they are little.  We can't afford to wait until they are older.  They need to be strengthened now while young so they can be strong to overcome temptations when they are older.  We need this chosen generation to be taught so that they live up to the expectations that Heavenly Father has for them.  They have certainly been saved 'for such a time as this'.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pirate's Treasure

I wanted to share this because it is a wonderful idea for parents and grandparents.  While I was in Oklahoma Carrie had made a Pirate's Treasure Hunt that I got to be part of.  Here is how it went.

 Earlier in the day had gone to Guthrie, OK to their darling library and got the book.  "How I Became A Pirate"  When we arrived at home Carrie read the book to us.  What a fun book for kids and grandmas.  (Notice the Pirate' faces on the kids)

Then Carrie had written different rhyming clues as part of our Treasure Hunt.  We had to figure them out and run to each place to find our next clue.

As we found where our last clue led us to there was a Treasure Map!!  We studied the map and finally decided that the treasure was located in the frog sand box outside.  Since it was cold that day we let Cody put on his shoes and coat and get it for us.  He willingly agreed.  

 The treasure was buried in a pillowcase so Cody brought it in and we discovered the Loot.  We had gold foiled candies, swedish fish, jewelry,sticker books, and there was even a special box for me with a charm in it that Carrie had engraved Jeff's name on a small heart and then a circle with the first initial of each one of my children's names on it.  B A T K J.  That was a greatest surprise of all!!

How grateful I am for all the darling mothers of my grandkids.  All three of them are much better mother's than I ever was.  I think that should be our goal--To have daughters and daughter in laws that are better than you were.  Just imagine how great each generation will be as they continue to improve.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Roots and Wings

“There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings.” 
 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As a parent I used that quote in much of my parenting.   Since I was born with a wanderlust spirit and loved to go, see, do and experience I wanted that for my children also.  I've never wanted to pass up any opportunity I had so I tried to instill that desire in them.  Life can be an adventure so go for it and enjoy every moment.  A couple of years ago I gave Amy a tile with the quote "Not all who wander are lost"  on it.  It was so fitting for her.  When I showed it to Jeff he mentioned that he had seen that quote engraved on a necklace and wanted to give it to me but was afraid I would be offended.   I guess Like Mom Like Daughter.
Obviously I also wanted my children to have roots, deep roots, because what can be more important than realizing the necessity and blessing of close families.  The bonding of traditions and dependence on each other are vital in surviving today's world.  Fortunately I think we did a fairly good job in both aspects but sometimes though I wish we wouldn't of been so successful with those wings because now that grandchildren are involved it is more painful.  Ben and Carrie have been gone for many years and their returning to Utah is doubtful.  Now Tyler and Carly are moving to North Dakota to pursue his career there.  Great things are happening in North Dakota!
 Luckily though those roots kick in and they encourage us to come and visit.  I always feel welcome when I need a "Grandma fix."  I just returned from visiting Oklahoma and loved every minute of my trip.  While there Ben had to list his preferences for a residency that he wants to achieve.  Post Doctoral work!!  Amazing and definitely expanding those wings.  The kids were delightful to be with and I cherish each minute as I visit.
How proud I am of each one of our children.  What an adventure it is to see them expand their wings and roots in their own lives.
Here are some grandkids pics from Oklahoma.
 There is the most amazing Science Center in Oklahoma City.  The kids love it.  They have a pass so they can visit as often as they want.
                                                                      Making clouds!!
                                                                      Construction Zone
                                                                          Painting a home
                                                             Mackayla enjoying the day
                                                               Building and racing a car

                                                                        Swimming Lessons
Mackayla has changed from a tiny newborn to a fun strong baby since I last saw her.  They develop so rapidly at this age.  How fun it was to enjoy her.

Monday, January 9, 2012

True Love is a Decision

My dear and very liberal friend Sandy was telling me the other day about her daughter who has been living with her boyfriend for the past two years.  Her daughter has decided the flame is gone from their relationship and she is ready to move on to someone or something different.  Sandy said to me, (remember this is very liberal Sandy)  if they were married this is when they would bear down and work it out.  That is why you get married so that you don't just leave when the romance is gone but work together and make it succeed.  I was incredibly proud of Sandy and her insight.   She is so right.  When you first get married or I guess get together it is a very immature love.  It can be real but it hasn't been developed to what it can and should be.  True love is a decision.  It is a decision to stick together, help each other and do whatever it takes to become one.  Sandy doesn't have in her vocabulary "eternal love' or 'celestial love' but that is what to what she is referring.  I know that is the kind of love I have decided I want with Jeff.  I made that decision years ago and as marriages go through the refiners fire because of the circumstances of life that is the decision that holds you together and brings you closer instead of separates you.
So those of you who are looking for a spouse I suggest that on your list of qualifications for the perfect spouse, (you know the one that I hope lists responsible, considerate, clean, virtuous etc) after all those are found then the greatest one needs to be  "Is this a person I want to love by nurturing, caring, and compassionately serving him or her?"  If you are already married you can ask yourself, "How can I really nurture and love my spouse?"  If you are only looking for ways they can help you or fulfill your desires then you need to look yourself in the mirror and realize you are the one that needs to serve.  That is the decision to find true love.

I realize I'm not the perfect example to write this, but I know it is true.  It gives me something to think about and work on more diligently today and always. I want to always be one in my marriage.  Just look at that cowboy.  Isn't he great?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Fun Grandma

Last night we were attending a dinner for the leadership of our Young Adult Stake.  Many of the stake presidency, bishops and high councilman in our stake are very young, very wealthy, and very flashy.  We were sitting at a table with a couple who are our dear friends that are our same age and some other couples who seem to maybe be caught up in "Conspicuous Consumption".   My friend reached over and asked me what I had on my wrist.  I looked down and was surprised to see I still had on the paper wrist band that they had placed on me when I entered the Discovery Zone Kids Center with the grandkids earlier that day.  I immediately tried to rip it off when my good friend said; "Don't take it off.  It shows you are a Grandma."  After pondering that for a minute I decided she was right.  I thought it not only shows I'm a Grandma, but it shows 'I'm a Fun Grandma'.   I wore it the rest of the night with pride--- They had their diamonds and I had my paper bracelet.

Here are a few pictures from our day at the Discovery Zone.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Let Go and Let God

I have been pondering the idea of parenting adult children this week.  It is interesting to me to discover what and where my mind tends to focus on, but this has been the subject of the week.  Probably because of the awareness of mistakes I have made.  Since I tend to be be a perfectionist and over controlling, I have realized in my past years of parenting that I tend to get too involved and thought I was doing better, but this week I realize I still have a long ways to go.  Many "later in life" children have parents who quit parenting but poor Jessi gets over parented.  I want her home at 9:00 p.m. on school nights and she looks at me with disbelief.  I have realized it is truly selfish on my part because I'm tired and want to go to bed and chill and I don't want to worry so I want her home.  I want to nag her constantly about homework and tardies at school.  I restrain myself some but occasionally I blurt out some unkind remark or reminder.  Kevin blamed me this week because he missed work one day (which I do know wasn't my fault but made me think).  He mentioned that when he called home to say he was going to be late I told him my concerns about his ability to get up for work the next morning so I put in his mind the idea of being too tired to go to work so he didn't.  Obviously we still need curfews and rules in our home, and the consequences need to be clear and enforced.  They need to be reasonable and clear, but I do not need to constantly harp on them.
As I observe countless other families I realize I'm not the only one trying to parent adult children.  So this brings me to the point of -  am I robbing them of opportunities to learn by the consequences of their own experiences?  I have tried to think back on my adult experiences as a child to my parents.  I don't ever recall being cajoled, pestered, or even reminded on my duties.  I know when I was not making great choices in my life in college my parents were incredibly disappointed in me but I do not remember them ever lecturing me on it. The only time I can think of my mom saying anything to me was when I had several small children she asked me to please stop yelling at my them.  That wasn't even a parenting item, she was trying to protect her grandchildren.
One of my problems in parenting is feeling too responsible for my children and their choices.  Often I have assumed too much responsibility, when ultimately it is God's responsibility to teach them.  He knows them much better than I ever will.  I am not nor do I want to be in charge of their salvation.  I need to remember He has a plan for each of them and there are things that they can only learn by the experiences that He gives to them.  I need to stand back and not thwart His plan by interfering and taking away their consequences or learning opportunities.  There are some lessons that only pain and suffering can teach.  We each have a right, even a need to suffer.  I'm sure at times many of my parenting experiences have been as much for me to learn as for my children.  There is a fine line in letting adult children know that you love them and are there to support them as they go through life and interfering with their choices and trying to control their actions and consequences.  The answer always goes back to the same conclusion.  "Trust in the Lord"   So basically my new mantra needs to be "Let Go and Let God."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Onward To Prepare!

"To every man (and woman) there comes a a time in his lifetime when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered that special chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents.  What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified to do the work which could have been his finest hour."

Winston Churchill

Having a difficult time sitting down to write out resolutions I decided that this quote would be the basis of  all my goals and resolutions this year.  My desire is to live to be prepared and qualified to do anything the Lord desires of me to do so I do not miss that tap on the shoulder.  I need to be prepared emotionally, mentally, physically, and especially spiritually to recognize the call and respond to it whether it be this year or in ten or twenty years.  Onward to Prepare!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012--Let It Begin

Wow, I am so glad that Christmas is over for another year!!  I loved the spirit of the season.  I enjoyed the food, family and fun, but now I'm relieved to be starting a New Year.  I love new things and I am looking forward to another year to see what it brings.  At times the unknown is exciting but also scary.  At our New Years Eve Party the other night we all made predictions on what we thought would happen in 2012.  Some were far fetched but I guess with the way the world is going any number of events could occur.  Let's prepare for the best!!

Last Friday morning I walked out of Pilates and in my car the thermometer read 57 degrees.  It was the end of December and we were having a heat wave!  So my plans of putting away Christmas decorations and cleaning my house were immediately dismissed as I called Amy to plan a day at the ZOO.  Who needs a clean house anyways when you can spend the day with grandkids and animals?  Tyler and Carly and kids joined myself and Amy and her kids.  I'm so thankful that Carly can be as spontaneous as my children have been raised to be.  We had a wonderful time even though it had dropped a few degrees before we actually made it to the zoo.  Still it was incredible weather for December.  I love watching the grandchildren as they run and laugh and enjoy every little minute of an activity.  How great to be so uninhibited and care so little about what others think about you or about what you are doing.  So many lessons can be learned from these little ones.  No wonder we are counseled in the scriptures to become as little children.  They bring a freshness to life that makes me feel young and free.  I love being with them.  This year may we all enjoy the little ones in our lives whether they be our own, our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews or our neighbors.  

Our Day At The Zoo


Blake and Lucy