Monday, December 8, 2008

Give Thanks!


Thank you for the gift of parenting these children!

I am thankful that Taylor has really matured this year! Thankful we made it out of 8th grade. Thankful for his tender heart and helpful hands!

I am thankful for Tanner's quirky personality. Thankful that he feels conviction. So very thankful that he makes us laugh. Laughter is good.

I am so thankful for Tucker Chase. Thankful for how he loves me. Thankful for the little brother he is and also the big brother he is to Tatumn. Thankful that his hands still look like a little boys.

I am thankful for Tatumn Hope. Thankful that God to chose to grow our family through adoption. Thankful that it's picture of Him adoptiong us. Thankful for twirly skirts. Lipgloss kisses. Pink nightgowns. Princess dreams.
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Remember me?

Okay, it's been a while since my last post. A lot has happened since then. It's not like our house is nice and orderly and quiet. Not in the least. It's just that so much activity has swirled around that it has left me breathless, weary, busy, and too overwhelmed to blog!

Plus..Kip left his computer home this morning! Yeah me!

*Little Isaiah went to his eternal home right after I posted my last blog. Please pray for Mary and Matt. They are some of the neatest parents I know! Wise beyond their years. Stronger than anyone else I know.

*Tatumn got her ears pierced! Actually that happened in October but I haven't blogged about it yet!

*Tatumn will be a twirling snowflake in the Christmas recital next week. I'm not sure if she will really twirl or not during the recital because she gets so shy in front of a crowd. But at home we have seen her twirl and shake her hiney like a champ!

*Our Wednesday morning Bible Study group is in the middle of the Believing God study by Beth Moore. God has taken us up on our sincere cry to Believe Him more. We have witnessed an outpouring of the Spirit, a renewed present active participle Faith,and fresh revelation.

*I am trying to put together a Christmas Card for the first time since we adopted Tatumn Hope. We laughed so hard yesterday trying to get a picture. Let's just say I found a new level of bribery. Oh! The kind of parents the boys may grow up to be......

*At our (outdoor) mall, there are pictures with a Snow Princess instead of pics with the man in red. We loaded up the children with the great anticipation of Tatumn visiting with a princess. Only to find out the Princesses went home the day before to make room for the man in red. How do you explain that to a 3 year old? And do you think we got her to sit by the jolly red elf? Not so much.

*So, Tatumn now knows how to say ORLANDO. Because that is where I told her the REAL Princesses live.

*I am hoping we get to go to ORLANDO soon.

*Taylor, firstborn, won 3 out of 5 matches in his first JV wrestling tournament Saturday! We are so proud of him!

*Kip and I got to sneak away for the night on Friday! We stayed at a great hotel downtown and got to enjoy some quality time. I love my man!

*I love him even more for loving me after I momentarily lost my mind (and almost my witness!) on Thursday night.

*I took my big boys to a play called Tribulation Christmas last night. I was thrilled to just hang out with them and to talk about their salvation and walk with the Lord. I love those 2 big boys so much. Being a mom to teenagers is a challenge but so exciting too. I got to hug on both of them all night long. They held my arm and walked me to the church like gentlemen.Most of the time they are on the fringes because of the little two. But last night was all about them. It was good.

*I will post soon with pictures and bloopers that will not make the Christmas card!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Real Life ( real long)

We started our new fall Bible Study in September. I have been a part of Wednesday morning Bible Study since Tanner was a new baby. I was a young mom. A young wife. A new Christian. The invitation was readily accepted for two reasons. To study the Bible. And friends. The companionship that was offered in those days blessed my heart as much as the Word tendered it. I will never forget walking into that house feeling like I was wearing a Scarlet A on my shirt. Not because I was an adulteress but because it wouldn't take long to realize my age and the age of my children to realize how young I was when Taylor was born. (Just FYI, I was 19) I was accepted and loved truly like never before. And those sweet girls are still some of dearest friends.
So fast forward 12 years. A lot has changed. Our group has divided to serve in other areas. New girls have joined. Others left. The location has changed as much as my hair style! And one thing that continues to thrill my heart, we have added numerous children to the Wednesday morning bunch. I added two more, myself!
I have had the honor and privilege of leading for quite some time. Even though we moved quite a distance, God has continued to ask me to serve in this format. And I absolutely love being a part of it.
I knew God was doing something unique when things started getting stirred up this Summer. We added a worship team and live praise music. The location changed from a home to our Student Life Center. A new group of women began coming that blessed me more than I could have dreamed of.
But let me be honest. I was also scared to death. I have never taught in this big of a group before. The format was so different that I was afraid that it wouldn't hold their attention. And there have been a couple of times that I have said aloud "would the real teacher please come forward" only to feel the gentle nudge from the Lord pushing me to the front of the room.
That first day we all looked so pretty and put together. We still had a summer glow about us and a new excitement flowed around the room. It was not unlike the first day of school after summer break. The giddiness. The excitement.
Then the routine sets in.
And real life takes over. The smiles become a little more strained. The sun tan has faded. The giddiness is swallowed back with tears. Before you know it hurt is everywhere.
So, it came as no surprise really that God had laid it on my heart for us to do "Believing God" by Beth Moore. Some of us had already done this study. But that didn't matter. What I felt God speak into my spirit was "give me one year to teach you, so that that you can live the rest of your life BELIEVING me." I knew from the beginning that this was going to be more than another bible study. This was intended to be a LIFESTYLE.
This Wednesday we will wrap up our third week. The title of this week is "God can do what He says He can do." Believing that God has not ceased in performing miracles.
I know God is still in the miracle business. I have witnessed one with my very eyes. Touched it with my own hands. Myer Massey is a true miracle. Touched by the hand of the Healer. A sentence of death from a well respected physician was trumped with the proclamation of life by the One who sits on the Throne.
And then there is Mary. A sweet, young mom with a 20 month old dying from Tay Sachs disease. I had the privilege of spending the afternoon with her and Isaiah today. This precious family has been prayed for and loved on from the Body of Christ that resembled the same outpouring that the Massey family received. There have been fasting and anointing. Lamenting and Praising. But as it looks today, God's miracle will be taking Isaiah to his eternal Home. Not the miracle we asked for. But a miracle just the same.
Last week I felt so compelled to teach Psalm 103:1-5. In fact I scrapped the lesson that was planned at 9:00 the night before. I cannot explain the feeling I had except uneasiness to do anything else.
Psalm 103
Of David.
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Let me tell you, I have never taught on anything so hard before. As I looked out in those sea of faces and proclaimed "heals all your diseases" when in that very room there is a little boy that has not been physically healed.....yet. Learning to believe Him truly, you have to believe that little Isaiah will be healed. Either here on earth or in in Heaven. That it is God's sovereign decision on just what that will look like. As I struggled with putting the lesson together I felt the Lord whisper to my spirit "don't try and explain me. You do not understand my ways. Don't try. You will only be deceived if you do."
The day ended with a sweet fundraiser to honor Mary and her family. We got to laugh and pray and eat.
But because my heart beats "mom" there is an undeniable ache for this young mom who holds her baby boy tonight. Trying her best to savor and remember every moment. To store in a special place in her heart things that only a mother could treasure.
If you have read this far I will ask for prayers for the Cairns family. Matt, Mary, Ethan, and little Isaiah. Prayers for strength, wisdom, endurance, and peace.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Peter Pan and TinkerBell

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Life here at Casa de Crawford has been so crazy busy.
If I had a dollar for everytime I said that.... I guess I changed it up a bit by adding Casa de Crawford.... probably to not make it sound so repetitive.
Here are a few snapshots of our Halloween festivities. I did not get to capture any pictures of them trick-or-treating because the big boys went hunting with dad that weekend and took the camera.
I could show you a picture of Tanner's first deer. He is so proud.
But I think I will keep it Disney friendly.
Tatumn really got into the door-to-door candy fest this year. It was a gorgeous night so we visited every house on our street! By the time we made it back to our home, Tucker's arm was tired from carrying his candy bucket! What a hard life, huh?
I got a little Martha Stewart with their costumes this year and decided that making them was far more economical........not really.
Tucker also tried to talk me into this being his last year for a theme. I am still undecided. I would love for all of them to do one more theme...... I am thinking a hot dog, fries, ketchup and mustard. Or something like that!
Wouldn't that be hilarious?
Wouldn't my teenagers hate me forever?
Although they love their little sister enough to do it....
We will just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuckers Class Party



Because he is "that kind of brother", Tucker let Tatumn steal the spotlight at his Halloween party. The kids thoguth she was the funniest thing and because of her ice-cream sundae dessert at 1:00, she was in rare form!
The class was so excited that they sang "Happy Birthday to you" and something about hearing 25 little voices sing to her melted me. I was truly so overcome with emotion that I couldn't even take a picture!
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The Princess treatment!


We started out Tatumn birthday with a manicure and pedicure! This time she sat by herself in the chair and looked every bit of three. I had to suck in a sob that was welling up in my throat. The ladies just loved on her; which did my heart so good. Tatumn ate up every ounce of attention and even showed some personality! In fact, later that weekend I ran into someone who was at the salon that morning and recognized us. She told us that watching Tatumn that morning was a blessing to her because she just found out that she is having a girl! And cannot wait to do that with her daughter! How sweet is that. I stopped myself from telling her my story, from the wait to almost losing the reality of holding her, to being a girly girl with three (amazing) boys at the house, and on and on! Instead, I just smiled and said "Thank you!"
Tatumn really is a blast. I know that may sound crazy but boiled down that just describes the time I am having being HER mom. She loves to me to pieces and I cannot put into words what that does to my heart.
The Father has really been so tender to me the last couple of weeks concerning her actual birth and the spaces in her life story that are blank. In ways that only He can do, He has tenderly cared for my heart and the ache that lies there. He has shown me that He's always been there. And in His graciousness (is that a word) He deliver some very meaningful mementos to us in China. Things that I would have not dared to ask for. Things that I thought were just too much, like a birthnote from her biological parents. Her clothes that she was found in. A newborn picture.
And just yesterday as I was getting Taylor's birth certificate out of our safe, I came across something that I had not noticed before. It was a medical chart and summary of Tatumn's (Jun De) first day of life. She was brought to the orphanage on her very first day of life and they did the examine that day. SO, as I was looking over it I realized I know how much she weighed, how long she was, what her skin looked like, and how she acted! I could not believe I had missed it before. Of course, some of it is in Chinese but I think I was so excited to know what she like at that moment, I skimmed throughout he first part. Actually, I believe God allowed me the privilege to see that page in a new way. And in doing that a piece of my heart was mended. And for that I will be forever grateful.
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Birthday Lunch

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The day just kept getting better!
We met daddy for lunch at Applebees! Tatumn had just got your nails done and she was so excited to show everyone! The waiters came out and sang to her, which she was not too sure about until they offered ice cream! My sister called to wish Tatumn a Birthday blessing and to hear her talk one the phone....she sounded more like 13 than 3! She told my sister "thanks for calling" before she handed me the phone and said "it's your sister"
Then when we got home there was a HUGE balloon bouquet waiting on the front porch! It was from our sweet friends Terri, Clara and baby Maddie! We even got in a quick wave before Clara went down for her nap! Our other neighbors brought over a Cinderella bubble blower and yet another (I know! we are so loved on by our neighbors!) brought over a darling GYMBOREE outfit!
And you know what the day was not over yet!
Because you only turn 3 once!

Pumpkin Patch Fun


I know I am way over due in posting. Life here at the Crawford house has been whizzing by in a flash.
And the fact that I do not a computer during the day, that raises it's own issues. It's not that I can't have one because I can. It's that I am choosing not to have one. Does that make sense?
Ever since my first journey into the adoption support groups online, I was hooked on this new found "friendship". The world of adoption blogs allowed me a sneak peak into a journey that was so exciting and new and I could glean from their adventure. It started honestly. It really did.
But then...because I am just wired this way. I became involved. I would wake up and check. Before I went to bed, I would check. It began to take up a chuck of valuable time and felt the Lord convicting me.
I know that is not pretty. But it's the truth.
So, I began to ask for healthy boundaries and limits.
And God answered.
He did.
My computer crashed this spring.
And although Kip has volunteered to fix the problem. I have declined. I have his computer when he gets home. And for now, that is enough.
So a long winded excuse as to why these posts are looooong overdue!


We had such a great day at the pumpkin patch! It was great weather and we all liked each other. Remember, today all you get is honesty!
This was Tatumn's first "official" trip to a Pumpkin Patch! We went to a little farm/pumpkin patch. There were all kinds of animals and Tatumn was in love. She is such a nurturer and was totally in her element. Which the boys loved! And because she is totally my daughter, she didn't like the smell at all. The animals. Good. The smell. Yucky. Love that girl.

If you remember from the posts about Tatumn's favorite Summer movie, you will recall that it was Charlotte's Web. (I wrote it that way to act like I have a multitude of readers! So much with being real. And thank you for allowing me a bit of fantasy!)There was this little pig that we visited last. Thank goodness it worked out that way because if we had visited that pig first, we would not have seen anything else! She loved that little pig! When she saw him, she turned and asked me "is that Charlotte's wub?" She says wub instead of web. I would post a video but I can barely post pictures so that's not gonna happen. Maybe one day! She kept talking to that pig and was getting a little upset because "that pig not will not talk to me!"
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We got a pumpkin big enough that Tatumn could sit on it! Which she loved that. And because blogger and Picasa are being obnoxious tonight I cannot post anymore pictures than these! Fun times!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My darling girl.....

I cannot believe how fast the days have flown off of the calendar. Wasn't it just October 2006 and you were turning 1? I can recall the petitions laid at the Fathers feet asking Him to allow us the privilege to celebrate your first birthday with you. With the boys. As a Forever family.
I so desperately wanted the privilege of celebrating your very first birthday with you in our arms. And God, allowed me the honor. The theme of that birthday was redemption. We called it "Princess Tatumn's Redeeming 1st Birthday Party." The invitations were darling, if I say so myself.
So much of that very first year I missed. As I type those words the reality of it is still so fresh and what I missed hurts. The wound has not healed. It may not ever. If I had it my way, I would not have missed any of it. And compared to spending the rest of our lives together, it really was a just a small piece of forever.

You have grown and changed so much in those 2 years. You are an official girly-girl. Twirling Dresses are the most fun thing to wear! You done with diapers and modeling some darling princess panties! Dance class is your newest adventure. Your giggle still makes my heart beat a little faster. The way you "mommy" your babies is a picture I never want to forget. You love your daddy with your whole heart. In fact when he drove you to your first dance class you said " Oh, thank you daddy for my dance class." with such love and grace that I had to hold him up because he went weak in the knees. You could have asked for anything in that moment and he would have handed it to you. Instead, you hugged his neck and ran off to class. I sat there and patted his arm and watched him radiate with love for you. Oh, darling girl, you are so loved.

This week, God met me right in the middle of your birthday week with a specific word. It came out of Psalm 139. (We are doing Believing God by Beth Moore but we are doing it in a different format not the 10 week format it was written in. And just this week He met right where I was with His unfailing Word. I love how He does that. If we had been doing it week-by-week, it may not have spoken to me like it did this week.)It says in verse 14;"I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; and my soul knows that full well." And this is what she wrote in our homework "Perhaps you are adopted and although you know the name of the mother who raised you, you do not know your biological mother. God certainly did and still does. God knew her intimately enough to choose her womb for the place where He would fearfully and wonderfully fashion you. God hid you in a blanket of soft tissue and bid your heart to beat.For many days He alone knew you existed. You were His secret.God's own skillful; hands knit you together, His watchful eyes gazed upon you, and His wise counsel ordained all of your days before you squinted from the light of your first." Oh, how I needed that fresh word from Him. He knew that as I approached this monumental week how my heart would be feeling. That although I had accepted those things that I can not change, the hurt is still there. It's just a mommy's heart. But here is what I heard him say to my heart "you were not there but I WAS! There was never a moment she was out of my sight or my plan. The world's system may have labeled her abandoned but I have not. She has NEVER be abandoned, dear one." Sweet relief floods my soul by recounting those precious words. It has brought peace to my heart.
Oh darling girl, your life has blessed mine more than I could have ever dared to dream. But more than that, you are your Heavenly Father's delight. May you always rejoice in that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Welcome to 30!

Well, its about time little sister!Finally, you are 30! :)
I have thought about what I would post...because have given me much soooo much to write about. Somethings still make my stomach hurt, so I will not go there. Let's just leave it as, you have a wild streak. Which would be an understatement. But that doesn't get my nerves all edgy this early in the morning!

This last year has been a turning point for you, in many ways. I want you to know how very proud of you I am (did that sound a little like mom?) I have watched you step out in faith in a job situation that God turned around and blessed. No, it wasn't easy and there were a couple meltdowns but get made it! And in your personal life...can I go there? Oh, yeah thats's my blog! I have been witness to a lot of heartache on your behalf that has broken my heart for you. I truly believe all of those "events" were in preparation for what...or whom...God was bringing into your life. I remember feeling a peace at your first mention of this guy. I liked him immediately. And that first phone call we (he and I) shared allowed me to see his heart. And you know what, I've liked him ever since.

Who knew this weekend would hold SO MUCH excitement? Who knew that Saturday would start with a jump from 10,000 feet above the safe foundation of the earths surface, from a perfectly safe airplane? Again, only you would find it exciting. How can you not love that boy who would jump with you? He didn't jump because he wanted too, he jumped because he couldn't bare the thought of having you go it alone! I Love that boy all the more for his act of bravery!
And to think that he landed beside you on his feet but then walked over to you and got down on his knee and asked for your hand in marriage! The tears are back as I recall that sweet moment.

I want to thank you for the way you love my children. You know, you are the cool aunt. The one who will play football with them in the backyard and talk "shop" with them. The one who will do crazy things with them and because of them. (the car ride to the game last week may have pushed the limit... a tiny bit)I love laughing with you and sharing our jokes. I love how you push me out of my conservative zone ( a little)and that you think I am the BEST sister ever made. Which, you are wrong. You are the best kind of sister. And I win. Again, remember it's my blog! :)

Please know we couldn't be happier for you. This new chapter is bound to be exciting and challenging (well because its you!) but it is also sure to be full of great joy and expectancy. Expectancy is an action verb, just like you.
Kip and I have asked the Father to bind your hearts together with His. To release His greatest blessing over your lives. For His hand to be mighty and the shelter of His wing to cover.
Loving you today in a special kind of way.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

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Oh Firstborn......

I want to tell you that the feeling of watching you get dressed up and step into a new chapter of your life has left me emotional, so please bear with me. I still cannot believe that that group of people all dressed up taking pictures were your friends.
When did everybody get so big? And so pretty? Or referring to your guy friends, so handsome?
I know that you and Hannah are only friends but I want you to know that I am so proud of your choice for very first date. She is darling, Taylor. I am thankful that she her dress was super cute but conservative. It's a mommas heart.
I will tell you that as I saw her pin your flower on, I had to suck in a sob that threatened to over take my stoic composure. To think that, for a moment, she had all of your attention and concern was almost to much to soak in. I felt like my heart was walking away as you escorted her to the car. I wanted to high-five the Creator that you were not going in the limo. I think He knew I could only handle so much!
Oh, Firstborn I want you to know how very proud of you I am. It seems like I just blinked and you changed. Grew up. Not too much but enough that I have noticed that something is different. You will always have a special place in my heart, as my firstborn. Your life saved mine. I am so blessed to be your mom.
I'm thankful that I have over 3 months to prepare for Court-Warming.
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Such a sweet guy!

As we walked up to the crowd of children...teenagers the shouts for Taylor to get in pictures was too numerous to count! It was very sweet to watch. These are his sweetest girl-friends.
A mom who was watching this picture being taken, turned around and said to anyone listening,
"That is one lucky boy!"
It took all the strength I had (which really wasn't much at that point) not to snatch him up and carry him off!
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Monday, October 6, 2008

I love this girl!

I fall more in love with this girl all the time. And it is safe to say, so does her daddy and her boys. She affectionately calls her brothers "her boys". We do a count down in the mornings as each boy leaves the house. "I only have one boy left" is what she says as her and Tucker enjoy breakfast together. And as he boards the bus or gets dropped off in the car pool lane as we head to the gym she will say " That's it!I have no more boys. It's just me and you mommy. And we are best girls!"
Seriously, what can't you love about that?

Well, our house is all a buzz with the upcoming 3rd Birthday Party! I cannot believe that my little girl is turning 3. I feel like she has been here forever. I cannot remember a time when we didn't have babies, pink nite-nites, dishes, and Mary Jane shoes littered about the house. A time when her tiny (but loud!) voice filled not only our home but our hearts. And yet, two years have flown by. She was once a tiny, timid baby girl who was painfully shy and she has now become a talkative, bubbly toddler who is happy to say "Hi" to anyone. Tonight at Target she told our cashier "Hi, my name is Tatumn. I have a puppy at my home. She is HYPER!" She talks pretty clearly, although she has an accent that sounds a little Chinese. I wonder where that came from!

Tatumn loves to dress up! I made this little outfit as a trial run for her Halloween costume! I love how it turned out! She loves to wear it any moment she can! The other morning she wore the skirt with her nightgown and pink flip-flops! And to top it off, she exclaimed as she came out of her room "I'm ready to go shopping!"

All I can think about when I see this picture is " He loves me." Oh baby girl, HE does love you. HE is your Prince Charming. He sings over you with shouts of great joy and comforts you with HIS love. May you always feel loved by the ONE who breathed life into your precious soul and chose our family to love you here on earth. This house that was filled with all things boy needed you to complete it. I have journals full of petitions to the Father asking Him to allow your daddy to feel the love of a little girl. HE answered our prayers with you. Our journey to you is marked with triumphs and victories that have made us stronger, as is yours to us. But isn't that just like God? The One who redeems our lives and crowns us beauty designed our lives to be lived out together. I couldn't be more grateful.
So, as you pulled off ALL the petals of the Gerber Daisy I felt the Holy Spirit keep whispering over your life " I love Her. I love Her forever. I love Her. I love Her Forever." And I want to know I whispered back "so do I."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sweet Sounds....

just came from my pantry.

Middle boy, Tanner Owen, is busy helping clean up from dinner and getting a Rubbermaid container to put the left over pasta in. He always gets two out. One for Kip to take to work and and one for him to snack on when he gets home.

I love this kid.

Although he is quite difficult at times.

And just a side story, real quick. When Tanner was getting ready to start kindergarten and people would ask him if he was ready he would always say "My mommy is going to home school me."

Which I wasn't. And to be honest, it wasn't even a consideration. But don't tell him that.

I waved to him as he boarded the bus and told him see you at 4:00. And I turned away missing him with my whole heart but also breathing a sigh of relief.

Don't tell him that part either.

Back to the pantry.

Sweet middle son, while searching for matching lids is singing...

"I'm coming back to the heart of worship. And it's all about you, Jesus. I'm sorry Lord for the things I'm made of. It's all about you, Jesus."

Oh, that makes me smile all the way down to my toes. "I'm sorry Lord for the things I'm made of." For this quirky middle son, it's so fitting.

I love it that a worship song is something that just spills out of his heart. And honestly, something that sounds like the wrong words is truly quite compelling.

So, as I type out this funny little scene, I sense the Spirit of God urging me to explore the ugly things that I have in my make-up. Pride. Vanity. Anger.

Oh Lord, I too am coming back to the heart of worship. And I am sorry for the things I'm made of.

Thank you Lord for teaching me through my precocious son. And Your Precious Son.

Monday, September 22, 2008

How you know you are stuck between a teenager and a toddler

This is for anyone parenting a teenager and a toddler.
Or if one day you might be a parent of a teenager and a toddler.

Right now Tatumn's (toddler) favorite movie is Finding Nemo. She loves it and laughs out loud at the funny parts. She can even do some of the lines form the movie. Although we try not to watch the beginning when Nemo's mommy becomes lunch. That part is a little traumatizing. It has to be for Tatumn , too.

Taylor (firstborn and teenager) just celebrated his 15th birthday. Deep sigh. He is now loaded up with gift cards that are burning terrible holes in his pockets. They must be spent. Firstborn teenager's favorite store is Hollister. (Please don't make ugly comments about this. We are working on it.) Because Taylor is learning (because his mean parents are making him) to be good stewards of his gift cards, we headed to the back of the store on a recent excursion to Hollister. The back of the store is where they have CLEARANCE items.

We found a couple of things marked down and I smiled to myself at my firstborns attempts to stretch his (gift card) dollar.

GET THIS, the shirt was marked down from $17.50 to $16.90. Now, I am not a mathematician and it took me a couple of seconds to check the numbers. Again. And I did a quick little figure in my head and realized it was marked down .60 cents.

Okay, so Taylor decides on a couple of things and we approach the checkout counter and thankfully the MANAGER is also the checkout dude. And because I can, I say "The markdowns in the back are rather insulting. 60 cents is considered a SALE?" He mumbled something that I couldn't make out because the music is seriously deafening.

And then I crossed the line between teenager straight to toddler.

And I said this " I know markdowns (buddy) I work at the Gap. And those are no markdowns."
And in my head I heard Marlin (Nemo's daddy) say "I know funny mister, I am a clown fish."

So, we paid and left. I felt smug and proud and I am sure my teenager felt embarrassed. But maybe not too much because you know what....

I let him buy a shirt for FULL PRICE.

Because I am that kind of mom.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I think it finally hit me

Today, Taylor had an away football game after school. So, the kids and I picked up Kip from work and drove to the game.
Kip asked me if I knew where the fields were.
And I thought to myself "I don't know where the middle school field's are."
Taylor is in HIGH-SCHOOL.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It was all a foreshadowing..........

Tatumn has a stomach virus.

Not Fun.

For her....or me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stuck between a Rock and A Hard Place

That is right where I found myself this morning. I was awaken to a little hot head laying on me. Literally. Little Tatumn had spiked a fever during the night. When I told her to lay back down and go sleep, she answered back "love on me, mama. Love on me." So, she slept on me. Tummy to tummy we slumbered into the morning.
Then the fun stuff started. The ooey-gooey number 2 diapers.
That would dilemma numero uno.
The second dilemma for the day would be that the kitchen was EMPTY. The fridge BARE. The pantry SPARSE. I couldn't say empty because we have a walk-in pantry that holds a mini mart worth's of supplies. So, yes there was food in it but nothing that would make a complete meal. So, I had planned to do my Target, Sams, and Hy-Vee run today.
Because, remember me and Wal-Mart do not have a good relationship.
And this is where the rock and hard place comes in.
What is a mom to do when the other 3 children need juice and milk but the littlest one is having trouble with her diapers maximum absorption levels?
And because I have not shared this with the blog world because I am still trying to get over it. Tatumn had a blow-out of EPIC PROPORTIONS at Hobby Lobby last week.
And I was so afraid of it happening again. 3 big shopping stops would be a lot to handle on a normal day and I knew today my window of opportunity was small. Dangerously small.
So, I caved.
I drove to Wal-Mart.
I was full in spirit because we had a Great Day, yesterday at Bible Study. We are doing Believing God. So, yes I could Believe God for a stress-free and QUICK trip to WM.
Again, the shopping was fine. I even thought to myself "This must be a slow day for shopping at WM. Note to self. Thursdays are not too bad."
Halfway done with the personal hygiene list I caught a whiff of something VERY FOUL. Yes, it was. And I had forgotten Tatumn's diaper bag in the car because it was raining. Although, I had packed good and full just 20 minutes before. It lay in the front seat of my van, untouched.
So, after a quick trip through the baby necessities isle we rushed to the family bathroom. Armed and ready to tackle what lay ahead.
Except we were a little too late. And yes, it soaked through her pants.
More necessities needed. Jeans at Wal-Mart are only $5.00. Who knew?!
So, I mad dashed through my grocery shopping like a champ.
By the time I was ready ( please notice it was I who was ready!) my cart was overflowing. I am not kidding.
And then again. I stood in a long line. All the while the empty registers stood there vacant. Mocking Me. And the other thing, is that there were WM employees milling about. Doing nothing.
So, I found a man who looked like he was in charge. He had a clip board and a walkie-talkie. He may have been the boss. So, staying in line I caught his attention and asked to please open a new lane.
He came over to me and asked if I needed cigarettes.
I am not kidding.
I told him if this checkout process didn't move more quickly, I may take up smoking.
I really did.
He walked away.
And I said (out loud) this checkout process is STUPID. And Tatumn looked up at me with fever showing in her cheeks and asked what was stupid. I told her it was a bad word and I shouldn't have said it. And she said "it's okay, mommy's say bad words." No, it's not okay and I still need to hash it out with the Lord. So, I stood there convicted. And I waited.
Then another man came up to me and told me he would check me out.
Although at that moment it wasn't victorious because I had lost my cool. In front of my daughter. Dang It.
Thankfully we made it home before the blow out hit.
Oh, yes it did.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Maybe she reads my blog?

I just received a phone call inviting me to a celebration rally for Senator McCain and Governor Palin on Monday. I am not kidding.

This morning I woke up way before my family did. Glory. And honestly my heart was so burdened that it would have been impossible to stay in bed another second. I needed to start dialoging with the Lord about some really big issues swirling around me. I have the honor of leading a Women's Bible Study on Wednesday mornings. I have been a part of this group my entire Christian walk. Some of the girls that were there to hold my hand and take baby steps with me are still present in this study. Some have gone out and proclaimed Christ in other areas but they are still my "girls". Now, again to the glory, there is a new group of girls coming on Wednesday's. Some brand new mommies, whom I so dearly love. There are new faces and with that new lives to know. There are struggles that I am familiar with, victories won, battles still being fought. Some are in the fights of their lives and their children's lives. Real life. Hard. As I sat pouring them out this morning to God, I told him how different these were from my first years sitting around a kitchen table. Those days our prayer requests were for potty training and first days of Kindergarten. I am not minimizing those petitions but after the phone calls and e-mails that I have received this week, I would gladly go back to those again in a heart beat.

Okay, back to Governor Palin. Which is the reason for the post. Thanks for hanging in there with me. So, I was online looking up some things for Bible Study and somehow I got to a Lifeway post introducing Beth Moore's new Bible Study. Its about Esther. And the title says something about it hard being a Woman. Then get this.....there was a promo for the video and the setting was...... you will not believe this......the setting was a replica of the Oval Office. (or something presidential!) I am not kidding, girls!

For such a time as this. That's when I heard the Lord's voice whisper "you are the chosen leader for such a time as this." The responsibility I feel for this group humbles me. Quickens my heart. Encourages to approach the Throne Boldly. And I am only a stay-at-home-mom.

Can you imagine the burden Mrs. Palin must carry? Not just the spotlight she has found herself in as of lately but the lasting implication that this nomination holds?

Beth Moore said something in our study on Wednesday that made me stop and intently listen. She was talking about God's covenant promise of love that will last for a 1000 generations. And she said "I think we are still in that 1000 generation." But then I thought, what about our children? Or the next generation after that? Is it soon that the covenant promise will have been fulfilled and the covenant lifted? What then, Lord?

Okay, about the phone call. It was a recorded message. I am pretty sure the entire tri-county area was invited. So, maybe she doesn't read my blog. That's okay. I still like her.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Okay, Mrs. Palin you now have my attention...

I have become a political junkie. I guess because I now consider myself a grown up, 4 kids will do that to you. I never used to care. I didn't see the need to educate myself on issues like taxes and the environment. In fact, and I am embarrassed to admit, in my first Presidential election I voted for Ross Perot. Somewhere between 1992 and 2008 a realization came to me that I needed to be aware what was going on in the political arena. And a conviction of my apathy was overwhelming. So, now I watch and listen. I am learning the lingo, which started out very basic. Like Republican and Democrat. Honestly, didn't know what or why there was a difference. Conservative and Liberal became more of my mantra. And as I have matured, I find myself leaning more to the right.

On Friday as we were driving to the lake we discussed this new candidate thrown into the Presidential Race. At first, I was shocked. I had heard her name tossed around but didn't really think a woman would be the choice. I am not a Woman Lib's kind of girl. I cherish being under my husband's umbrella of provision and protection. And I don't know how to change a tire, either. Both of those small facts about me would discount me from joining that group.

I have listened intently to any snippet of information about the Alaskan Governor. Trying to glean anything about our nominee for VP.

But it wasn't until I heard her speech last night that I feel like I heard her. And not about her. I like her. (I feel like Sally Field). She knows her stuff. She is strong but eloquent. A pit bull with lipstick. I liked that that, too. I loved the way she spoke of her family. The adoration she has for her husband was obvious and real. And her children are precious. Can you imagine starting on this road and in less than a week your oldest son deploys to Iraq? The littlest daughter is spunky and darling. Did you see her spit shine her baby brother's hair? I know they are not perfect, would we want them to be? I know I have learned some of greatest lessons from people who were real and honest with me about their mistakes and hard knocks.

I know, I would not have embraced my walk with Christ if I only saw perfection. If there was not an overflowing of grace and pardon waiting just for me, I am not sure where I would be today.

So, I sit here this morning praying for our country and it's leaders. November holds BIG change.

(I promise I will not turn this blog into political craziness. I just needed to vent a little)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A little Trim here and a little Trim there

Today was the day. It was a "first" for us. Now, it was not drastic because there is not much to be drastic with.

Truth is Tatumn's hair was begining to look like a mollet. We like to pronounce it MOLE-LEIGH. It sounds more feminine that way.

After some issues with breakage from rubber bands, I am for real this time boycotting pigtails. I cannot tell you how that hurts my heart. I am the mom who brought a bag full of hair pretties for my daughter to China. Now, that may not sound really amazing but you see in her pictures she was bald. No hair. And because I believed God would grow her hair into a fabulous bob before I traveled to China (in 6 weeks) I packed a bag of hair paraphernalia. I did. Now, I realize that portion of luggage would have been more fitted for something else, like souvenirs, but oh stayed occupied with unused hair pretties. Don't mock me.

So, after scrutinizing her hair I decided to cut off the length in the back to match the sides. Hoping that it will (someday) grow into that luscious bob.

Maybe by kindergarten.

A Fub Lovin' without the Labor Weekend

Our friends the Dwyer's invited us to spend the weekend with them at the lake. We could not pack the van and get there fast enough. We loaded up with enough food and supplies to outfit a small army, when in reality all we needed were our swimsuits, sunscreen, and yes a little bit of food. Because, you see, playing in the sun makes you hungry!
Our friends are younger and more daring than Kip and I are. So, they are like totally cool friends for our kids to hang out with. Jim made at least 10 sparkler bombs. Terri jumped off the "HIGH" dive and Terri's dad let each one of the boys drive the boat. From Friday afternoon until Monday night, there was no arguing, no fighting, no naughty spots, or spankings. There was also no cell phones, internet, texting, or t.v.. It was truly a good vacation.
Thanks Dwyer family!

The boys loved this paddle boat. Even the little girls got to go for a ride or two. The boys were great chauffers, too. They took Kip and I for a ride around the cove!
Love this picture! except Taylor wasn't in it. He slept in and missed our morning boat ride. Tatumn loved going "faster" on the boat. She never tried to take off her life jacket. Glory. I am not a big fan of water, although I love to swim and hang out at the Lake. It just scares me. I prayed from the time we planned this trip and all the way up to the lake for protection. I also realized I need to relax more. You may not know this but I am wound pretty tight.

Here are all the Crawford kids. We had spent the afternoon at a friend of the Dwyer'slake house. He travels to the lake by helicopter, which he lands on the roof of his dock. He has a GINORMUS boat that is LOUD. and FAST. And this cool slide (that he got off of EBAY) that shoots down 3 stories into the lake. Believe it or not, Tatumn and I took a ride on it! One trip down was all we needed but the boys kept slidding and slidding! And they also jumped off his 2 story dock! They have NO FEAR!!
Here are East and West taking a ride on the paddle boat! The girls had a great time all weekend. Tatumn was a little bummed when she woke up Tuesday and Clara was not downstairs waiting for her to have breakfast! Truth be told, the reat of the family was sad that Ms. Mora was not downstairs fixing another yummy breakfast for them! They got really spoiled by Terr's mom gormet cooking all weekend!
Now we are back in real life. Work. School. Bible Study. Birthday's. Homework. Cooking and Cleaning. Republican Convention. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I cannot believe the transformation my TV has endured this week.

We have gone from this
I heart you Beijing 2008. Thanks for the memories. I miss the constant coverage.....

To this???!!!
A trip to the dentist would bring me more joy. Watching water boil delights me way more. I trust my water because it is purified....I can't say that about.........