Saturday, October 24, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009



Myer is Cinderella.
Tatumn is Belle.
Clara is Sleeping Beauty.
Lexi is Tinker Bell.

This was taken during Taylor's 16th birthday party. It's just not a party until the princesses have arrived!
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Happy 16th Birthday Taylor!


A dream come true!
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Best Friends Forever....

I have told and retold the story of Tatumn's adoption many times. The details of how the Massey's started their adoption journey right alongside us. That it wasn't planned that way at the beginning but after that initial first step we couldn't have been more grateful to be on the same path together.
God, knew in advance what that road looked like ahead of us...and He knew we would need each other.
As I type those words and re-feel the emotions of those days, tears spring up in my eyes and my heart does this flutter thing. On one hand, I am surprised we made it. Honestly. And on the other hand, I am humbled and in awe.
God's plan all along was to bring these two little Asian girls together to be friends.
The bestest kind of friends.
The kind of friends who sit by each other and laugh hysterically.
The kind of friends who love to put make-up on each other and is patient when one of the friends hands doesn't move as fast.
The kind of friends who know how to encourage the little details, like hair bows and twirly skirts. And when one of the friends is crawling to the play house. And if one could pick what makes her the would be the crawling..every time.

This weekend found us side-by-side with our most favorite people for a lot of activities.
And this is how you would have found our girls.
Holding hands.
Sitting beside each other in the restaurant. Holding hands.
Worshiping together...which is a rarity..but a blessing beyond words..holding hands.
A birthday party...holding hands. And putting on make-up.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Enjoying the Fairy Tale

Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life love comes along....

and brings you a fairy tale.

author unknown

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

This is the 16th time you have had a portion of the Father's Day event. 16 years ago, you were so incredibly brave and the way you honored me, I will never forget. Your loyalty to me left me changed, humbled, and so proud to be yours.
We didn't expect to partake of the time honored tradition so soon in our young lives but this is where you found us. So young. So unprepared. But walking forward, holding your hand as you held on to Jesus.
In the past 16 years, our first born little boy has now grown up to be taller than we are. Who also incidentally thinks he is smarter than we are, too. Our second son,posed to be a challenge before we ever saw his sweet face and red hair. That pregnancy will go down in our history as one of the hardest seasons we faced. 7 months of bed-rest with a toddler was tough. Losing two grandparents was almost more than I thought we could handle.I will never forget sitting at your PaPa's funeral and watching them hand you the flag that had been draped over this brave WWII soldier's casket.Your PaPa loved you so much, Kip. I will never forget him peaking in our hospital room the day after Taylor was born. It was a bit of an awkward moment, remember I was trying to breast feed the baby? But when I saw him standing there, he didn't see any of that stuff. He was watching you. And the look of pride on his face will be forever hidden in my heart. He would have gotten a big kick out of our middle son. I am so sorry they never got the chance to meet.
The birth of our youngest son came with it's own challenges. You were finishing up your PGA qualifications and pursuing a "dream" career. I remember getting up with Tucker in the middle of the night and being greeted by you at the kitchen table studying. My pillow laid out on the chair and a glass of water waiting for me. Thank you for that. Tucker's health issues brought us together as a team. Kind of like peas and carrots. The Lord saw fit to teather us tightly to each other and to HIM during that season.
Little did I know what was in store for us!
The addition of our daughter into our family has truly been the Great adventure. Our first step into the parenting adventure, we stepped into with timid steps but with this one we seemed to jump in with both feet! Thank you for listening to the Voice inviting us to trust and 'go'. I am so thankful we didn't get to see the days rolled out before us, I don't know if I would have stepped out at all. However; this time we both held on to Jesus with both hands.
I loved watching you fall in love with Tatumn in China.

Who would have thought that our family would have been made complete half-way around the World? That the teenage couple would one day be grown-ups with 4 kids?
Thank you for walking a life with integrity.
Thank you for allowing God to change your career path and not being bitter about it.
But actually becoming better for it.
Thank you for fighting for us. For me.
Thank you for sitting in the rain watching Taylor play football.
Thank you for taking Tanner to Summer school at the crack of dawn so I can sleep in.
Thank you for taking Tucker fishing. Just the 2 of you. Even though your poison ivy break out was killing you.
Thank you for delighting in all things princess and dancing with your Cinderella.
Thank you for pouring my coffee and sitting it out
because you know I don't drink hot coffee.
Thank you for loving me in-spite of my quirks.
Thank you for loving Jesus and being His hands and feet to a world that needs to see Him.
Thank you for loving a fun-loving, mouthy, insecure teenager.
And the woman she is still trying to become.

Fater's Day

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To the beat of their own drummer!

The girls have found a new way to play with this drum set. The drum sticks are now officially MICROPHONES!! They will sing for hours! It is so funny! Sometimes they will really sing a "song" and other times it just start with a loud giggle and the swell into a scream! When they get tired, they will just lie down and sing some more!
If one of them talks to the other with out the microphone up to their mouth, the other one will say "I cannot hear you! Use your microphone!"

Watching them play together, independently, is truly one of God's sweetest blessing poured out over us. At the same time, just out of the picture are two happy momma's enjoying sweet tea and laughing. Basking in this precious promise that His plan for us is good.

The Princess gets her Wish!

Tatumn has been asking for a swing set for a while now so over Memorial Weekend Taylor and Kip set out to build her a swing set. The other two boys mostly smiled for pictures and asked "how much longer". Our girl is NOT a dare devil and when Kip showed her pictures to pick out what style she liked , she picked out this one. The others were "too high" for her. Except for the one that would have taken a building permit to build. And we didn't think our back door neighbors would appreciate such a monstrosity; especially because it would taken up their yards too. Except for one neighbor, he would have liked it because then he wouldn't have to mow his yard...ever. But we didn't ask him.

We have already gotten many hours of swinging and sliding fun out of it. And it only took 45 seconds for someone to get hurt. Tucker threw the other swing into Tatumn's flight pattern and knocked right in the head. The Princess ice bag was summoned and all was well after a that.

The VERY NEXT DAY, Tatumn did have one more request. She said " Daddy I really, really need a baby sister to swing with me, please."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happy Summer!

Middle Son was out first for Summer! So, we celebrated with a trip to Caribou Coffee! It was his treat, too! I think I told him one or two (thousand) times not to have me regret my decision to allow him the privilege of caffeine!
Happy Summer!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I wonder....

is she left-handed?

is she the silly one in the family?

is her hair fine and smooth?

does her eyes sparkle when she laughs?

is her giggle loud?

if her favorite color is pink?

does she have a sweet tooth?

does she love to look at the moon?

does she miss her?

does she think about her?

what she wonders about.

Today an Asian woman has captivated my thoughts. A woman I have not met but would give anything for a brief encounter with this side of Heaven. Does her heart ache when she thinks about her sacrifice? Or has the culture dulled her pain because it's become the norm. Has she ever tried to find out about her?

Tatumn has grown so much this past year. She has become an independent little sassy lady. She loves to be silly and dance around. Her giggle is truly infectious. There is a sparkle in her little almond eyes that I am almost sure she had to get from her birth mother. She loves to look at the moon and will ask if that is the same moon in China. Maybe that special woman looks at the same moon. I hope she does.

Today is Birth Mother Day. Not something that Hallmark is capitalizing on but a special day for us. I may not ever be able to thank her personally but my heart overflows in gratitude because of her. Because of her, I get to be Tatumn's mommy. In her words "My very best girl."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How you know that your son is turning into a teenager.....

It could be the attitude change.

But it wasn't today.

It could be that he has outgrown all of his clothes.

Again, not the clue I got.

The voice changing/cracking.


Did I mention the attitude?

Nada. He was actually very sweet today.

It was the quick scene that could have passed by without notice. But I did notice. I am very thankful that the Lord allowed me this quick glimpse. It made the horrible mood change from yesterday almost bearable. Although there are still pieces of my heart laid about my house that need picking up.

The scene played out like this...

We were making a quick trip to Hy-Vee for something to grill for dinner. The weather here has been totally spring-like. Glory. We were driving down the road and up in the distance there were three girls walking along the side of the road. I could tell they were middle-school age. From the back they looked like normal girls. Not a hoochie in the bunch.

Here is the deal, I only saw them from the back.

However, Tanner craned his neck as far as he could when we drove by to get a look at their faces. When he turned back around I could tell that he wasn't interested in any one of them.

I just took the sight in. I didn't make a comment at all. A little part of me had to let go at that moment. Let him be a teenager. I knew I needed to offer a little more grace for the attitude. Have I mentioned lately how horrible it can get?

As we left Hy-Vee ,though, he did jump on the quarter-for-a-ride-horse and rode like a cowboy....without his sister. All by himself. Oh, the sight makes me laugh out loud. He is truly stuck between little boy and wanna-be teenager.

May God find favor with my desire to keep putting one foot in front of the other......and not turning around and running the other way.

*Congrats Adrienne. E-mail me when you get a moment! I can't wait to hear about this precious little girl!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I know, I know...... Hold your appluase until after the post

I'm back.
Did you miss me? If not would you please act like you did; you know to save my feelings from being hurt on my first day back.
My 40 plus day sabbatical was for a fast that I felt like God put on my heart.
To focus on Him.
And you know what I found out?
This computer thing takes up a lot of personal time in my day. From checking e-mail, catching with my "friends" via blogs, I can literally waste half my day.
That left me a lot of time to focus on Him.
It was good.
Really good.

Just a few things to catch you up on....

*Teenage boys are TOUGH to parent. You can't let your guard done EVER.
*Toddler girls gets sassy.
*Third born boys are the sweetest.
*If you are the only Caucasian in a nail salon, a complete stranger will think your daughter belongs to the nail tech.
*16th anniversary gifts are a delight!
*My wedding finger is sporting some serious bling!
*My kitchen is a brighter shade of yellow.
*Beth Moore's Esther study has blessed my heart. Every day.
*My computer is on the fritz....again.
*My sister still has not planned her wedding.
*Though she wants to get married in JUNE.
*Summer is coming..... although we still need our heater on!
*If I really had a choice I would drink coffee with cream over green tea.
* My new favorite store is Sephora.

I will catch you on in more detail later.

Monday, February 23, 2009

We are all good.....

thanks for checking.

I know it's been a looooong time since I posted.

You know I have found out that life sometimes goes by in fast forward.

We've had one of those times. Again.

Everyone is doing good here at Crawford Casa.

Praise the Lord.

The firstborn is doing good. The middle one is ...I have a funny story on him. Later. The little man is good, as always. And the princess is the princess. A twirling delight!

We celebrated Valentines Day with a Fondue Dinner. Get it Fond of You. We had a blast! The big boys still love it and I asked when they had girlfriends if they would bring their girlfriends here for Valentines Day. And they said "yes". I then pulled out a contract, pricked their fingers for a tiny bit of blood, and they signed a covenant! Quick and Painless.

On Saturday, we hosted a dinner party here for my Bible Study girls. I love these girls with my whole heart and I am so thankful for their willingness to serve the body with their gifts and talents. Our Wednesday morning Bible Study is not your average meet-in-the-living room-kind-of- group. We have a worship team, lights and video, and a support team. So, on Saturday we invited the girls and their husbands to come and break bread with us. We had such a good time!

I have had such a full schedule lately that it has been hard to juggle. I am trying to discern if I am doing a lot of little things okay or if I am doing a couple good things for God. Trying to discern if what I feel at night is typical mommy guilt or is the enemy trying to manipulate my thoughts. More often than not, I have a running dialogue with the Lord that asks Him to reveal to me His truth but also in forgiveness for being afraid to walk by faith. There is a heaviness there that I cannot shake. An anticipation that is palpable. A burden heavy. A joy immeasurable. A nagging guilt. Humbled by His invitation.

A Belief that grows daily through all of this.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Tucker Chase

Today is my baby boy's 9th birthday. Nine. One full hand and four fingers on the next. 9.
He was born in a snow storm.
I will never forget the ride to the hospital.
Kip decided to take a new route because of the snow......
I also had the flu.
I will never forget that either.
Tucker had RSV and pneumonia twice before his first birthday. We have had some scary moments with his health but God has been so sweet to us in those moments.
We have had some special bonding times late in the night when everyone else was sleeping and he needed a breathing treatment. I will never forget the stillness of that machine running and holding him in my lap.
When the big boys went to school, he was my constant buddy.
And the day he went to kindergarten, my heart hurt more than I thought it would.
The second day of first grade we walked him into his classroom and kissed him goodbye because we were boarding a flight to China at 12:00.. I asked the Lord to let that kiss and hug be enough for the 2 week journey. For both him and me.

I remember seeing him at the airport and thinking he had grown a ton during that 2 week separation. We left him as the baby of our family and came home to him being the big brother.
He's a great big brother to Tatumn. He plays the best with her. he lets her boss him around and will play anything pretend. He is also a fantastic little brother, too. The big boys let him tag along in the woods and challenge his skills on the Wii. He takes their teasing and knows how to dish out his own.

He is a charmer and a pleaser. Every teacher has loved him greatly. His teacher this year started out our parent-teacher conference like this
Teacher "I love your son."
Me " Me, too."
Teacher "That is all I have to say. Really. Nothing else to report."
Me- thinking.....silently to God "Thank you."

Happy Birthday Tucker.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Happy Chinese New Year

This is the only family picture that we have taken for a long time.
Did we get one for thanksgiving? No.

Tatumn and Myer wore matching pink tutu Chinese dresses! Love it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

35 things about me.....

In honor of my 35th birthday I thought I would list out 35 things about me that you may or may not know.

Yes, I am really 35.

I's half way to 70.

I am choosing to see the glass as half-full rather than it's been all fun and games and now I on the down hill decent from here.

1.I Love Jesus. I really do.

2. I adore my husband.

3. Married my high-school sweetheart.

4. #2 and #3 are one and the same. In case you had any doubts.

5. Enjoy being a mom to 4 amazing kids.

6. My boys love me as much as I love them. (they really do!)

7. My daughter is simply a "delight".

8. We adopted our daughter in August 2006 from Hunan, China.

9. Adoption changed us. More than I ever thought or imagined. It has become our heartbeat. (I mis-spelled heartbeat with heartbest but I think both are true. I like that. Heartbest.

10. I am a random-not organized-kinda creative-girl.

11. I love a clean kitchen.

12. I am a true book worm. Give me anything to read and I will. From the prescription papers on medication, Mitford, the First Born series, to the Word, I'm there.

13. I don't like to sweat. I wish I was a pretty sweat-er, I'm just not. Picture blotchy.

14. I do love to shop. And I am good at it. It's a gift. My dad once called me a black-belt shopper. One of my most favorite compliments, ever.

15. I am embarrassed to admit this but I have been known to curse like a sailor. My BIG TIME conviction came this year to give that up. And you know what, I have. Only to the Glory of God it is not even a temptation.

16. I struggle with personal insecurities every day.

17. I love to cook.

18. My most favorite color is Pink.

19. My favorite shoe is the flip-flop. From fancy & bedazzled to simple and plain. I heart the flip-flop.

20. I am a closet worship band singer. I can not carry a tune in a bucket but oh how I love to worship with everything I have. Arms in the air. A little bit of a dance going on. Eyes closed. (of course) Joyful noise.

21. I truly feel like we are supposed to adopt again.

22. I love fun and colorful serving dishes. Any and all kinds.

23. I love sweet tea. Although, I am currently on an unending fast of the drink. I miss you sweet tea. You are just not good for me.

24. I am a Fox News junkie.

25. I suffer from insomnia. It maybe directly related to #24.

26. I am a happy girl when I am surrounded by palm trees and sand. Just ask my husband.

27. I am not a numbers girl but I am in charge of our budget. Believe it or not, it works.

28. Sometimes I look around my life and am completely amazed that I am the wife and mom to this group. That God chose me.... amazes me.... humbles me..... and causes me to be a better me than the me I am.

29. I feel like God is calling my family to serve in Missions. I am not sure when, where, or how...but I feel it. Deep.

30. I am a horrible typer. Now, I wish I finished that keyboarding course in High School. True story, I told my guidance counselor that I would NEVER need that skill.

31. I can fall asleep in any movie. It must be something about finally sitting still in the dark for any amount of time. Obviously # 25 doesn't apply here. Ask my kids about the time we went to see Curious George. Embarrassing.

32. I am a finale kind of girl. Whether it be the final rose, world series, the election, anything I love seeing who wins! I got hooked on the NBA Finals when Tanner was a new born baby.

33. I truly have a liking for accessories. (I am tired of using the word love...but trust me the feeling is that strong) Necklaces and bracelets are my faves!

34. When I text, I don't use text talk. Like U for you, 2 for to, two, or too. I just can't. I also have been known to use the correct sentence ending.

35. Because I am now 35 , I have to go for my Base Line mammogram this year. That may be a little too much information for you but its the Truth.

happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The battery in my van is dead.....

Got in the car today to go celebrate my mom's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mom. (I will try and post a b-day message later tonight.)

Tried to open the automatic door.


Opened my door.


No lights.

No ding.


We were already running late.

Imagine that.

And I said "The van is dead."

Tatumn responded "it is dead? who shoot it mommy?"

Oh, to be the sister to 3 big brothers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Smelling like a sugar cookie......

I thought you all (all 7.5 of you!) may enjoy this little funny.

I had my female doctor apt the Friday before Thanksgiving. You know the apt that you just endure. The one that mocks you from the calendar page. The apt that is met with dread. Yeah, that one.

Okay, I was having a good hair day and I wore a cute outfit. One special thing that did thrill me was that I had just purchased my holiday scent. I am a Bath and Body Works girl. I heart that place. It makes me happy. I am also very seasonal with my scents as well. Like Ecclesiastes says "there is a time and season for all things under Heaven." I am sure King Solomon was referencing the seasonal bath and body scents, too. You know he was the wisest of men.

I digress.

Okay, back to my apt. I stepped on the dreaded scale. And was mildly disappointed. Let's just say this. The holidays were approaching and I had already used my reserve pounds. You know how you play around with those 5 pounds. Sometimes its 5 more and sometimes it is 5 less. Yeah well, I had used those and a couple more reserves that were stored away for the next year or two..... or five. As I sat and waited and beat myself up over the stinking number on the scale. I would tell myself my self-worth was not in the number and that my image was in how Christ saw me. Then I would wonder how does He see me?

On and On.

Then I decided I would talk with the Dr and get her advice and opinion.

She walked in (finally) and said "Oh my! You smell so good. You smell just like a sugar cookie!"

Ugh, yeah. Maybe not the best time to bring up my struggle with my weight.

But I did.

I told her that I am just having trouble losing. I work out and eat right. (chuckle!)

So, she told me that really I still fall in the guidelines (for a 7 foot tall man) and that possibly my metabolism had slowed down. She told me the best thing to do would be to talk with a nutritionist. She assured me that she would be able to put together a combination of food choices that would help speed up my metabolism. I know she was pleased with herself for giving me such sound advice.

All the while I am sitting there smelling like a sugar cookie.

I still have not gone to visit a nutritionist. I just haven't had the time.

I haven't worked out either.

I (may) have mono.

But I am concerned. I have made resolutions.

I am going to be proactive.

I am not going to beat myself up over a number (no matter how it is) on a scale.

I am going to remember my identity and self worth is found in Christ alone.

And I switched my Bath and Body flavors.

I did. And I feel like I am on the right path.

I am now using Winter Candy Apple.

Good choice. Fruit. Not sugar cookie.

I wonder about the candy part.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year!

Sheesh. That's all I can think of to start off my first post of 2009. SO much drama has swirled around and through this house that I am (almost) speechless.

First of all you know it has been too long of an absence on your blog when you hear this...
"listen, your kids are cute and all but I am so tired of clicking on your blog and seeing "Give Thanks" again and again.

Okay, I know. I am a blogging loser. It's okay; you do not need to make a comment to make me feel better. But leaving a comment would let me know people are still coming here. ;)

Let me explain. I have been sick. The kind of sick that ravages your sinuses, makes your throat feel like there is a fire inside, and fills you with congestion but then after a couple of days of taking the legal limit of Nyquil you fill better sick. Only to our run down your immune system once again.

And then you know rinse and repeat.

Since November.

I know.

I did go to the Dr. on Monday. Wanna know something about that trip.? Sure you do. I haven't been to the Dr. since I had my physical for our dossier for our China adoption paperwork.


Something funnier....(more funny?) I had a $10.00 credit in my account because I overpaid for that physical in 2005! So, that was a nice little blessing at the check out.

My still quite unsure but we are leaning toward mono. We would know for sure if I went back on Tuesday for my labs. But seriously, two visits in one week when my record is clearly once every 3 years would have pushed it. Plus the excessively large glands protruding from neck and my extreme fatigue may have been a tell-tell sign. Additionally, my Dr. said there was nothing he could for it because mono is a virus ..."That will be a $30 copay. Thank you." I hate that with my whole being. Yeah duh it's a virus.

So, needless to say December happened and I did my best to get everything in. Although the whole time I never felt like myself and needed to nap like a baby. Honestly, the boys asked Sunday if something was wrong as I lay comatose on the couch ALL day. When I told them I had really felt like this since um..... before Thanksgiving they were appalled!

I guess I am a good faker.

Or my children are self consumed and too selfish to notice that I nearly crashed and burned to deliver a fantastic Christmas.

Because it is the New Year and I have made some resolutions, I will go with the door #1, Bob.

Truthfully, I don't know why I am so sarcastic today. I must be feeling better.