Sunday, June 29, 2008


One Word Post.
The rules state very clearly here that ALL answers have to be ONE WORD. So, here goes.
1. Where is your cell phone? IDK *that is text type so I can keep it to one word. In fact if you were to call my cell phone my voice mail would say something like this "you have reached Stephanie's cell phone. It could be in the bottom of her purse or in the car somewhere, please leave a message.....)
Okay, way more than one word. I think I am a loser, already.
2. Your significant other? dependable
3. Your hair? highlighted
4. Your mother? Generous
5. Your father? Golfing
6. Your favorite thing? Crawford6
7. Your dream last night? Peaceful
8. Your favorite drink? SweetTea
9. Your dream/goal? Financial Freedom
10. The room you’re in? HearthRoom
11. Your church? Home
12. Your fear? my children falling away from the Lord
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?
14. Where were you last night? Church
15. What you’re not? a size 2
16. Muffins? Doughnut (could be why!)
17. One of your wish list items? size 2.....Just Kidding. Pink Coach Purse
18. Where you grew up? Blue Springs
19. The last thing you did? Clean
20. What are you wearing? pink
21. Your TV? FoodNetwork (again.....)
22. Your pets? NOPE
23. Your computer? Laptop
24. Your life? BUSY
25. Your mood? Peaceful
26. Missing someone? Missy
27. Your car? FULL
28. Something you’re not wearing? make-up
29. Favorite store? Ny&Co
30. Your summer? Adventure (read old posts!)
31. Like(love) someone? Wednesday Morning Bible Study gals
32. Your favorite color? pink
33. Last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? last night
35. Who will re-post this? IDK

Okay, so I cheated a little. You can take the girl out of the word but you cannot take the words out of the girl. Huh?
Oh well!
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Left Speechless and in Amazement

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I will make you Fishers of men

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You are never too old to swing...

I love this picture of our first born and baby girl swinging!
Good times!
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Tucker at the Skate Park

This was before the ambulance ride visit to the skate park. I am glad I took these because he swears (even though I say it is not nice to swear! :P ) he is NOT going back.
And I am okay with that. I cannot handle another visit with the police/ambulance/MAST ambulance.
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Fun at the Park

This picture was from our trip to the park before our infamous trip to the park. Do you follow? Tatumn was delighted to swing so very high! We do not have a swing set at our house so this was truly a treat! The smile was genuine, too. I didn't have to say "Smile Tatumn so mommy can take another picture!"
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Cookin with Tate!

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Barbie Bicycle

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Tatumn's Barbie Bicycle

The other day while doing my weekly torture trip into Hades, otherwise known as Wal-Mart, I found this adorable Barbie Princess Bicycle for Tatumn.
I knew it was meant for us to buy it because.........
there was only 1 left on the shelf.
Even Tucker knew it was providential because he said "God, left us one Mom!"
I am raising some very savvy shoppers!

Note to readers:we are waiting with baited breath (what does that really mean, anyway!) for our SUPER TARGET to open. Any day now!
I will share my Wal-Mart story another day. It is not pretty, girls. Not pretty.

Friday, June 27, 2008

You'll never believe what the baby girl just said...

We had to wake her up from a late nap........never a good idea. We have ran like crazy people and swam like fishes today. So, Tatumn fell into a coma when we made it home....finally.
So, we woke her up so she would sleep tonight. Honestly, the last part is more for me than for her. I need to sleep tonight.
So, the cranky girl was laying on the couch trying to wake up and Tanner came up to her wanting to give her a kiss.
And she said this....
"Get out of my personal space."
It was more like this " Geeet oouutt of mmmyyyy personaaaaallll spaaaace."
Tanner, looked at me in sheer shock but smiled.
Because that was funny.
And Sassy.

I'm a Survivor

I survived my first Kick Boxing Class last night.
I am more of a elliptical machine-weights routine-by-myself-kind of girl.
My (sweet, young) neighbor has asked me to go to this class for a couple of weeks and I finally got my (butt) schedule to work out.
The anticipation was far worse than than the participation.
Don't get me wrong....the class was a killer. Libby (the kick boxing guru) is a beast! So strong and flexible. But also encouraging. She didn't laugh at me or ask me to leave.

And I woke up this morning able to walk! So, that was a HUGE plus.

And I'm going back next week. Oh, yes I am!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Referral Anniversary

Some of you unfamiliar with the adoption process are probably going "huh" right about now.

Let me explain.

Referral is the equivalent to the ultrasound in the adoption world. That first glimpse of the precious baby that you have fallen in love with. You know the one that makes you hold you hold your breath as your eyes fall fresh upon that little person that has captivated your heart.

We received our referral on June 26, 2006. We had waited over one year for this news. So, in pregnancy would have been the gestation of an elephant. Shew.

Leading up to this day was a journey. I will tell you the young, naive, excited girl who walked her adoption agreement in to the Adoption agency in February 2005 was not the same girl who answered the phone in June 2006. She had been changed by the FAITHFUL hand of God. Our family was rocked to it's foundation in March of that year and there was a moment that we were not sure if we would be able to continue Tatumn's adoption.

I cannot tell you how my heart broke over the thought of not being able to hold my daughter. I loved her so very much already. Out family had already made room for her in our hearts and loved poured forth out of those places. The boys would constantly ask questions like " when the baby gets here she can she sit by me?" And "can I sit by the baby when we go to church?" "Will she know I am her brother?" "Will she love me?"

Sweet, innocent love from three little boys who trusted their parents from the very beginning that God had called us to go to China and adopt a baby girl. And in doing so, she would complete our family. They trusted that God spoke in into our lives. They allowed God to tender their hearts, calm their fears, and grow a love for a little girl that did not come form our own flesh and blood.

And what grew out of that year long wait was a fierce love.

So, when March happened it rocked us. I remember crying over the boys' broken hearts. We didn't tell them how dire the situation had actually become but they knew something was going on.

I will tell more of that story another day.

Because obviously, we were able to adopt Ms. Tatumn Hope. The princess did get to her meet her Prince Charming. Her Daddy.

So, Thursday will mark our 2 year Referral Anniversary. The call came from on my cell phone. And in a conversation that lasted less than 5 minutes we were introduced to

Chen Jun De. A Hunan baby born on October 24, 2005. We were told by the nannies that she was given her name as a blessing. It means a beautiful girl who will grow into a virtuous woman.

We found out that she was tiny, with very little hair.

That was it........ our introduction to our daughter.

We didn't get good pictures until the next day. Via, the UPS man. I scared him to death when I jumped out of my front door with my camera. When I explained why, he totally got all nervous that he was responsible for such important documents! He was in disbelief that he was carrying around my daughter all day!

As, I type this I really am supposed to be preparing for Bible Study in the morning. I am teaching a lesson that I have in my head but not organized. Somehow, I needed to do this first.As I was getting out a notebook to take down my notes, I came across my rough draft of our personal statement for our HomeStudy. This was one of the documents that went into our dossier. (Adoption lingo for paperwork that is sent to China)

As I read what that young girl (me) wrote 3 years ago, I smiled at her zest for life. Her complete abandonment to her family. Her family dynamics. She did not know that her own personal story would change and that the "idyllic" life would be only for a season.

I am so very thankful that her dream came true one hot day in China. That the baby that she wrote about loving already and promising to take care of in the same fashion as her biological children is now 2 1/2 years old. And not really a baby anymore. So, thankful that that girl fully trusted in God's Faithfulness and Provision and allowed Him to change paths. That He brought them a place of Victory.

That the young family came through the fire, stronger.

And now older. I was completely amazed that when I wrote that statement for our HomeStudy, Taylor was 11, Tanner 8, and Tucker was 5.

Tatumn Hope was not even born yet. Her little life was just beginning. But we loved her so much already. How can that be? Even now, I cannot put words to that particular feeling. Tears sting my eyes as I let myself go back to through those moments where God beckoned us to follow Him.

And we did.

Honestly, it is God's way of showing us through Tatumn's adoption what He has done through Jesus Christ. We are adopted through Christ, to be a child of God's. That the love that overflowed out of this family for a little baby girl, on the other side of the World, is minute compared to God's love for us.

Completely Amazing.

Stop and think about that for a while.
(I have a Bible Study lesson to write)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not your typical Walk in the Park

This morning, I just had my 2 little ones home and I let them sleep in.....a little. Our mornings are so very rushed. Even though we are not bound to a tight school schedule, we still have obligations that require us to get out the door at lightning speed.
Except for today.
So, we did not go the gym. Instead I cleaned up around the house and the children got to eat a home-made breakfast. (hold your applause, please) I told the kids that for my morning exercise we would walk to the park. Not drive, which would turn out to be a gigantic flaw in the plan.
So, we loaded Tatumn up in her stroller and Tucker donned his helmet and scooter for our trip to the park.
Our journey there took about 10 or so minutes.
Once there, Tatumn got on a swing and Tucker tackled the skate park.
Tucker wanted to show me some "cool moves" so we walked over to the skate park and cheered him on.
I announced we had only 11 minutes left to play because I needed to shower before we picked up Tanner from Summer School.
As I was walking Tatumn back to the swings Tucker let out a HUGE SCREAM and when I turned to see what was wrong he was prostrate screaming in PAIN!
I guided him back to a bench to assess the damage. His knee was bruised and he told me he thought it was broken. I had enough sense in me to remember that he is only 8 and not a DOCTOR.
Okay, here is where it gets comical.
A police man drove down the parking lot and noticed we were in a little bit of distress and decided to come and check it out for himself.
He asked Tucker some questions about what happened, asked who I was, and if Tuck needed an ice bag. I assured him I was "his mom...mommy...mother." And that an ice bag would be good.
I didn't know he meant call an ambulance for an ice bag. I thought he had one in his patrol car.
Because the park is close to City Hall, the FIRST ambulance got there in a jiffy. The paramedics were checking out his knee when I heard the distinct sound of SIRENS.
I asked the police man in a "please tell me they are rushing to a real accident" tone where that sound was heading.
He told me they were coming to TRANSPORT him to the hospital.
Excuse me? Did I miss something? HOSPITAL?!?!?!
When the MAST paramedics showed up , the city guys left. Except for the police man.
They were all business. I told them I didn't think he needed a transport and they told me I could sign a waiver "declining transport". And that I could take him on my own.
Now, here is the truth. I didn't think he was hurt all that bad. I was about to tell him to "shake it off" before the police man entered the scene. I probably would have made him walk home. I know, BAD MOM.
Well, they let me decline transport but made me sign papers declaring me a terrible, horrible, no-good mother.
And we were almost free to go.
But we WALKED to the park. For exercise. HUFF!!!
So, I asked the police man if he would help get us home. He had already put our stroller in his trunk. Good. But the paramedics told us they would need to take Tatumn in their AMBULANCE because they had a car seat.
So, Tucker was buckled in the police car and Tatumn needed to go in the ambulance. The paramedic them asked me who I wanted to ride with.
Make me pick? Are you kidding me?!?!?
Then the paramedic told me we could all in the ambulance.
But the police man said he would meet us at the house with our stuff.
Stay with me here...........
So, the police man went down one street and the ambulance went down the other and we met at our house.
The look on his face made my heart drop to my knees. Bless his heart. I can only imagine what he must have thought.
But the police man was already there describing the story.
But as soon as we got in the house I reassured him it wasn't that bad.
All is well now. He got a HUGE dose of Motrin and got his spunk back this afternoon.
And Tucker is doing better too. Thanks for asking.
Next time I skip a workout, I am going to indulge in a donut. Or two. Or three.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A day in my flip flops

Life here is crazy-busy-fast and I am too tired to post something more profound than this.
I thought you might want to follow along on a day in my flip flops.
2:00 am* Wake up from a half-way descent sleep. Do a kid check, turn off tv's, cover up sleeping boys. Get a drink.
2:22 am* still awake. Turn on CNN news
3:00 am* go to the bathroom. still awake.
fall back asleep
5:00am* Hear Tatumn crying in her room. Trudge down hall to get her and lay her on pallet. Turn off my tv.
5:55 am* wake up and remember Tucker is coming home early.
6:11am* Wake up to knocking on our front door. Tucker is home. Remember my dad's Father Day treat in our fridge. Trudge through dining room to kitchen to retrieve dad's treat in fridge. Kiss my daddy good-bye and wish him a good day.
6:14 am* Get Tucker a blanket and pillow and make him a pallet on Kip's side of bed. Turn tv back on for Tucker and try and fall asleep.
7:21 am* Wake up to Tanner giving me a kiss and whispering Good Morning because his siblings were still sleeping.
7:40 am* Kiss Tanner and Kip goodbye for the day. Tell Tanner I will not be late picking him from summer school. Make a half-hearted promise to Kip for some quality time tonight.
7:41 am*Get ready for the gym.
7:55 am* Get Tatumn ready for the gym. Outfit, pigtails, blankie, and bottle.
8:04 am* Drop off Taylor and his friend Dalton at Football camp. Whisper a quick prayer that they got to join the team as they were running out so they were not counted late because of me. Because on Tuesday, they were. And they had to run. Sorry guys. Dalton likes to spend the night with us. So, he has become my 5th child this summer. He thinks he is my favorite. Some days, he is.
8:14 am* Arrive at the gym and sit in my van putting my shoes on and worship the Lord with Nicole C. Mullins ' Redeemer.
8:20 am* sign Tatumn in to Child Watch. Remind teachers that she will need to go potty....very soon.
8:22 am* Chat with a friend until fitness equipment becomes available. Get on the killer equipment and try to have an intelligent conversation with friend.
Funny, she doesn't have any trouble chatting and/or breathing.
9:01 am* Do weight workout. Try to do new ab workout but everybody in the tri-county area was attempting the same workout.
9:17 am* skip ab routine.
9:20 am* sigh Tatumn out of Child watch. Attempt to leave gym at my speed. End up walking out at a snails pace.
9:27 am* Taylor calls wondering where I am
9:33 am* Pick up selfish teenager from football practice.
9:44 am* Enjoy watermelon breakfast with my two little people. Selfish teenager eats by himself.
10:00-11:20 am* CLEAN HOUSE. Selfish teenager is put to work and redeems himself. The 2 little people play. The mam sweeps, wipes down, bleaches, makes beds, picks up pallets, puts away laundry, puts up clean dishes, loads dishwasher with dirty dishes.
Needs to take a shower but runs out of time because I remember I need to get Tanner with out being late.
11:21 am* Try and get Tatumn to go potty. #2. She refuses.
11:35 am* Remember bridge work and road closures and take VERY LONG DETOUR to get Tanner.
11:46 am* Tanner calls asking where I am .
11:50* Pick up Tanner late.
11:56* Tanner closes Tucker's arm in door. Drama ensues.
12:00- 12:15* Tanner wolfs down lunch. Chat with friend who is taking my two big boys to work on a rehab home. Pack water and gloves and kiss good-bye.
12:16* Tatumn looses her mind. And self-control. Pool plans get rearranged to nap plans.
12:17* Check Tucker's arm.....again. And reassure him we do not need to go to the er. Readjust ice and try and kiss away the pain......and the drama.
12:30* Put Tatumn down for a nap.
12:31*Lay down with injured little man and watch a movie.
1:55* Wake up to ringing phone. It's hubby.
2:06* Wake up again to ringing phone. It's the boys wondering why I didn't answer the door. Busted.
2:10* Finally jump in shower!
2:12* Sign Tanner up for a baby sitting job. He needs to be there in 5 minutes.
2:30* Wake up sleeping Tatumn so we can take Taylor to friends house. He is going to the lake until Sunday. He tells me on the way there he "thinks he might miss me a little." I know he meant it as an endearment.
2:32* Stop at Sonic for Happy Hour Half Price Drinks. So, does half of the tri-county residents.
2:59* Arrive at friends house and kiss Taylor good-bye.
2:59* Tanner calls wondering where I am. Hangs up on me because he has to sit and wait for me to get home.
3:00* Call Tanner back and tell him to NEVER hang up on me again. Want to hang up on selfish little middle man but choose to listen to the Father and tell him "i love him" instead.
3:30* Arrive home. Tatumn is still way grouchy. Need to vacuum and get dinner started. Then head to the pool.
4:00* Realize we are under a T-Storm warning and tell children pool plans are canceled.
4:14* Threaten violence if children do not stop whining about the change in plans.
4:15* ask for forgiveness
4:16* Start dinner. Remember that I need to make dinner for neighbors. Double up ingredients.
5:07* Hubby gets home.
5:10* Children ask their daddy to take them to the library. Hubby wonders aloud what they did the 9 hours he was gone and why they didn't go to the library during the day.
5:11* Give husband the "look"
5:11:30* Husband takes children to the library.
5:55* Get dinner to neighbors
6:00* Sit down to dinner with family.
6:30* get tired on waiting for Tatumn to finish eating. clean kitchen.
6:40* Give Tatumn a bath.
6:41* Tanner and Tucker duke it out with a rock/paper/scissors contest to see who gets to take their bath with tatumn.
6:42* Tucker gets in tub.
6:45* Get Tatumn out. Tucker adds more water and settles in with his new library book.
7:30* I get on the computer and try to veg for a moment.
7:33* Pray for bedtime to come quickly.

Hugs, Steph

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Can you see me now?

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Pool Days are here!

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Tatumn Hope

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Go to Wendy's this weekend and get a FROSTY. Your purchase will help support ADOPTION! And you know that is close to my heart.
Please remember to pray for the Chapmans this weekend, especially the daddy Steven.

***Summer Lovin, had me a Blast!***

The title is way more catchy if you sing it with the correct Grease music playing in your head!

Summer is here, full blown. We have spent nearly every day that it has not rained at the pool. We love our Riverside pool. It's not a private- in your own back yard- kind of pool. We do have to share it with others but we we have 3 to 4 lifeguards at a time watching the children. So, the other people don't bother me.............much.

Tanner, is wrapping up his baseball season. Shew! He started Middle School, with much complaining and protesting. He thinks we hate him and that I would rather not spend time with him. Then after the first day, he had an epiphany. He realized that what I told was true. That if he were to walk into that big, foreboding building on the first official day of school, he would in fact be a mess. This boy does not do change. It has been a week now and the poor kid cannot figure out his locker..........still. No need to say, the momma is ALWAYS right.

I need to gush about him one more time. He had a very busy first full week of summer. He had invites from one friend after another. He was so overwhelmed during one of his trip to a friends house. I asked him what was wrong and he explained it like this. " Mom, the whole summer is going to go by so fast. Like right now, I haven't got to spend one day with you!" I love that boy!

Taylor is busy with High School football. At the HIGH SCHOOL. The other morning I had to drop him off early for weights and as I drove up there were some really BIG boys standing by the gym door. My heart did a little dance with my nervous stomach and I asked him, in all sincerity, if I should walk him to the gym because those boys looked really intimidating. He said "NO, MOM" before I finished my sentence and jumped out of the car. I rolled down my window and he shot me a look that meant business. I slowly drove away all the while watching from my rear view window. I am not ready for High-School. Lovin that Big Boy.

My little Tucker man is simply my buddy. Because the two big boys are busy in the morning, he and I jump get to work out together at the Y. Tatumn goes to the child watch, where she was greeted with shouts of great joy from her friends today! But because God is so good there is treadmill right next to my machine. The I600. Killer. But we manage to chat and give each other a thumbs up when The Suite Life with Zac and Cody come on! We are still struggling with his asthma. That makes me a little more worried than normal. I love that little man.

Tatumn is almost, completely, I don't want her to know that I know, potty-trained! Yeah! I have almost conquered my fears of public restrooms with her, too. Big week here at the Crawford's. This is the second week in a row that we have not had to empty the dreaded Diaper Champ. We can actually walk into her room with being welcomed by the camouflaged stench of dirty diapers. She is loving the pool more this year. She has gotten a tad bit more brave than last year. Although she did trip the other day and could not regain her balance (heart be still!) and went completely under the water. I was right there and scooped her up quickly, Glory, but she was done and told me "I want to go home right now. That was scary." The way she says scary is so cute. She is the darling of our house. The true delight of our lives.

And you gals thought I was just being lazy with my posts.

Never a dull moment. Ever.

I had made up my mind that this Summer we were going to take it down a notch with our meals. I am not bragging or patting myself on the back when I say this, please know that. But for any typical meal, I will use serving bowls, napkins, glasses, etc when we eat as a family. I love dishes, not washing them, but love a pretty table that is set. Quirky, I know. But I was pretty pleased with myself when I decided that we were going low-key. Paper plates and more disposable things. Easy clean up. Less dishes to put away. Less dishwasher duty. Etc. When I told my husband he gave me that "you're kidding, right?!" look. I wasn't but I went ahead and sat the table like usual. Anyway, when he prayed over us that morning it sounded something like this " Thank you Lord for supplying us with pretty dishes and letting us eat off of real plates and not paper ones." Oh Lord, help me love this man. Kidding aside, I really do love this man. A bunch. And the dishes thing is no big deal. Really.

For those of you who didn't jump over from Sarah's, I want to give a shout out to her. She is my bloggy friend forever. BFF. I cannot even remember how we met. She has three little guys, so it goes without saying that we will mansions close by in Heaven. Because, as you may or may not know, there is a special place in heaven to the mother of boys'. With a princess, as in our case. And maybe one day, hers too! But please go over and visit her blog. And pray for her tiny town, it has been hit hard lately. Praying for you, Sarah.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Good Bye 5th Grade

Tanner finishes elementary school on Tuesday. It is a half-day. So, tomorrow is his last full day at English Landing. Everything about tomorrow will be typically the same. Ride the bus, morning duties, special class, lunch, recess, afternoon activities, end of the day, ride the bus home.
But something about tomorrow has caused me look at it with a different perspective. It has caused me to shed some tears and humbly ask for forgiveness.
You see, tomorrow is the last day Tanner will take his lunch to school. It is the last time I will pack his red Gap lunchbox with a turkey sandwich with spicey mustard, barbeque chips, a dessert, and a juice box. It has been the same lunch menu pretty much all through his elemntary school days. A couple of times we have thrown in carrots and ranch, used regular mustard instead of spicey, maybe even Doritos replaced the barbeque. But for the most part this has been Tanner's lunch. He doesn't like change.
The forgiveness part comes from the early years of not giving it my all. For rushing through it, forgetting things, having a bad attitude about having to pack a lunch. When I think back to some of those days, I am embarrassed at the (dumb) young mother I was. Rushing so fast through the morning and frazzeled because of my selfiushness. Oh Father, I am so sorry.
I wish I would have known then how fast the boys would grow up. That one day I wouldn't have a house full of boys under the age of 6. I would have wrote more notes on napkins. I would have made sure I always had spicey mustard becuase Tanner preferred it. I will even go as far to say I wish I would have made homemade desserts more.
Because tomorrow is the last day Tanner's lunchbox will be thrown on the counter next to Tucker's ready to be filled. The last day I will get 2 juice boxes out of the fridge, make 2 turkey sandwhiches, one with spicey mustard the other plain.
But this time, Tanner's will have a note. Just a small one because as he puts it "reading notes from me makes him miss me more during the day." I want him to know that I will sure miss making his lunch next year when he is Middle School.
Middle School?! I can barely believe it. But I am so proud of that accomplishment that I could scream! And cry! And scream some more!
This boy has truly overcome some big obstacles in learning to get to this palce. He has learned to work HARD. He has persevered like a Champ.
Tuesday will be the last day that Tanner and Tucker will be in the same school until High School. Tanner will be a Senior and Tucker will be a Freshman. I really don't want to think about that right now. I am completely emtional enough as it is! These boys are buddies. I will miss watching them scooter in the driveway until the bus comes. Watching Tanner make sure Tucker has his inhaler with him. Knowing that if one were to need the other, they were right down the hall. Especially miss watching them both run up to the house together from the bus.
But most of all that the red Gap lunchbox will be put in the pantry.
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Family Camp at Windermere

This was our second year to attend Family Camp with our church. From the moment our van was loaded up and we were pulling out of the camp parking lot we were busy making plans about next year.
Until our world was changed in 2006, Memorial Day meant the real beginning of the golf season for our family. I was jealous of the families who would go to the lake, or have fun bar-b-Que's, or even any plans at all. My whole married life and the entire life of our children Memorial Day began daddy's busy time.
We didn't know that on this weekend our church family gathered in one central place to celebrate God's faithfulness of family. I can say now that it was a hidden blessing.
We, again, had a great time. And we have again began to make plans for next year!
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Tatumn Hope

Our journey to you was far longer than a pregnancy. And in that time I would daydream of names for you. Your brothers had a theme going, accidentally. But you were different. Special. And I wanted your name to reflect that. I laugh at the first names I had for you. Emmerson. You are not an Emmerson. Kendale. I liked the K because of your daddy's name. I wanted your initials to be the same as his. KEC. But it just didn't feel right. Then one day, you became Tatumn.
The T fit the crazy pattern of your brothers. And although your life didn't start from my womb, I always want you to know you are a part of this crazy family we call Crawford. So, Tatumn it was. Even down to the crazy part of having 6 letters.
But the Hope took on a new meaning after March 2006.
One day I will tell you that amazing story.
It begins with a King who loves a princess in a land far, far away. But baby girl, this is no fairy tale. A fairy tale pales in comparison to the Real Story called Tatumn Hope. And this King is like no other. He is the King above all Kings. And He has taken great delight in you, Princess. He is the One who has called you by name. Created you, knit you together. Redeemed your precious life And gathered you from the East and brought you into a family. His family.
But waiting for you and trusting His promise is what brought forth the Hope. Hope is defined as "Joyful Expectation." In the dark days that marked our March 2006, it was the joyful expectation that God's promise is faithful, even though everything around is crumbling, that kept us believing.
Hope that God would place you in our arms. Not like wishing on a dandelion. But joyfully expecting God's promise to be fulfilled.
Princess, because of God's Great Love we do get to live happily, ever after.
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Tanner, you whole grade school career could be summed up in this word. TRUST.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the Lord with all of our heart. To lean on Him, acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths. Never before have I seen this lived out more than with you. My prayer over your life is that you would always trust Him.
Trust Him as the Teacher.
Trust Him for His grace.
Trust Him as the Giver of all things.
Trust Him as we parent you. We are bound to mess up but please know we are trying to parent you like He has called us to do.
Trust Him with your abilities. You are knit together in a fashion that is uniquely YOU. The world was not. As you go about your life, Trust Him to make those rough places smooth. He created You and knows You better than anyone else.
Trust Him.
He's right there.
He is Faithful.
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Taylor, this year above any other, you have grown so much. Physically, I am amazed at how much you have changed. Your foot is now way bigger than mine, we see eye-to-eye (literally), and your face is no longer youthful and round but reflects a chiseled jawline. I am so proud to your mom. Blessed that He chose you to be my first-born. And I ask again for your forgiveness as your dad and I learn this teenage thing alongside you. I am sorry that we will mess up more with you than we will with the others. I am not proud of my failures with parenting you but I have begged God to step in and cover it. I have not parented a teenager before so please offer grace, as well.
My prayer over your life is that you would follow TRUTH. All of your days. Jesus declared that He was the way, the Truth, and the Life. The world has pulled at you with it's lies and I pray that you would stand strong. The convictions that you once so boldly proclaimed I pray they will well up in you again. It is a foundation that is unshakable. The world has tried to lure you away with its lies and traps. And unfortunately it will continue to do so but one day you will be on your own and you will need to wrestle it out by yourself. I have asked God to never let go of you, ever. To hold on tight and lead you in His truth.
I know the promises God has whispered over your life and into my heart. Plans that are good and promising, Taylor. From that very first moment that I knew of your precious life, I firmly believe God's blessing has never been more tender to this mother's heart. It was your life, Taylor, that beckoned me to a faithful Father. Your life in all honesty saved mine. That is why I will not give up. Ever. I will continue to fight for you and cheer you on.
Remember, God wants to talk to you. He loves you with an everlasting love. Draw back on the times when you needed Him most and He answered you with His word. His Truth.
Follow it, baby.
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Dueteronomy 6:4-9


Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Faith is Believing God. Not just believing He is there but Believing Him.

Tucker, my prayer over your precious life is that your faith would grow bigger and bigger. That the sweet way you talk to Jesus would never stop.

Jesus talked about people who have Faith as small as a mustard seed could move a giant mountain. Your seed of faith is way bigger than a mustard seed, Tucker. I am trusting God to continue to show off for you and that you would continue to ask Him too.

James talks about the testing of your faith brings about perseverance. I have seen that in you the last couple of years when your asthma has gotten the best of you and you have been put on the sidelines. Tears sting my eyes as I recount the things that you have had to miss in just the last couple of weeks. The perseverance that our Father has poured into your life has not gone unnoticed by so many people. You are such a great kid, Tucker. I am continuing to ask God to take your asthma. But I am mindful that He is the giver of every breath. And it has not been more evident in any other life than yours.

Believe Him, Tucker. Move that Mountain.

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