Monday, January 18, 2010

Praying hard

Well, Mark is in Haiti. We haven't heard from the team today, but we know that they arrived safely on Sunday morning after leaving Tulsa on Friday afternoon. There was a hold-up on Saturday morning when they were supposed to fly from Fort Peirce in Florida to Haiti, because of the bottle-neck situation at the Port au Prince airport. But they're there now, and I'm checking my emails every 15 seconds to see if the contact person at the clinic has heard anything from them yet! The missionary contact that they had planned to work with in Haiti didn't pan out, so the team from In His Image is working with the Salvation Army to provide medical care to survivors. I am partly very jealous that he got to go and I am staying home with Anna ... but at the same time, I feel like he is there representing both of us. I certainly feel like my mind and heart are over there till he gets back (and probably for a good while afterwards too), even if my body is not!
I have felt very peaceful about him being gone; I am most aware that he's not here in the evenings because he's never at home during the day anyway, so I'm not pining away all day by myself or anything! I am very conscious of the fact that the head of my home & family is not here, though. I don't quite know how to explain it. The word 'covering' best describes it, I think. Now that Mark is gone, I am very keenly aware that he is the head of our home and our little family, and that a such he provides a spiritual covering for me and Anna. I'm not saying I'm under some kind of attack now that he's gone, because there are so many people praying for me and us right now that I feel very well taken care of. But it still feels different. I'll be glad when he's back on Sunday. (Hopefully Sunday, anyway!) And then .... England!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A month of Firsts

Well, it's been a month since I said I'd be better at keeping this updated, and what a month it's been! Anna's first Christmas, my first WHITE Christmas since moving to Oklahoma, the first time we got to hold our beautiful, precious godson, Anna's first tooth, Anna's first passport, the first of the year, our first time to see Smackey since his diagnosis of thyroid cancer, our first full month in the new house, our first official family picture since Anna was born.... we've been busy!

Here are the promised family pictures and Christmas pictures:

Tiff and one of her photographer friends took Crouch family pictures when everyone was here for Thanksgiving. Here's the three of us, Anna and all her cousins, and the Crouch Family Massive.

And here are Anna's Christmas pictures in her cute little Anna Clause dress :) I took them myself at home and was super-excited about how they turned out! The first two are the ones I chose for our Christmas card; I think the other two are cute too but they definitely didn't make it onto the card! Funny girl....

I love it when she starts to get tired and sucks on those two little fingers ... she looks so cute! (Her poor hands get so chapped, though - poor babesy!)

What a little cutesie :)

We had our Crouch family Christmas a little early on the 19th. We all went to this Amish farm outside of Tulsa and had a huge Amish feast together! It was delicious, delicious, delicious and I'm definitely pushing to be reincarnated within the Amish community. They believe in that, right....?
After the meal we went back to John and Jan's house to do gifts for the kids. Anna got some exciting new toys, clothes and books, but seemed to be more interested in eating the wrapping paper that they came in! That's ok - Mama and Daddy were excited for her :)

Mark was scheduled to work 5am-5pm on Christmas Eve, and our plan was to meet at the Candlelight service at our church after he was done. But it started raining in the morning, which by lunchtime had turned to sleet, which by the evening was a full-on blizzard! I'm talking huge fat snowflakes travelling sideways in 40mph winds, settling on the ground faster than you would believe, and hiding a layer of sleety ice that had frozen to the ground earlier in the day. You may not be surprised to hear that Mark called me around 6:30 to say his car was stuck spinning its wheels on a hill a mile away from home (along with a lot of 4WD pickups and SUVs - poor little Hyundai didn't stand a chance!) and he didn't think he was going to be able to make it back that night. I was SO bummed - he'd worked really hard to trade shifts with someone so he wasn't working overnight on Christmas Eve, and it was for nothing because he wouldn't be home anyway! He thought he would have to spend the night in the car, but a couple guys helped him push his car off the road onto a sidestreet that sloped downwards in the general direction of his parents' house. So he spent Christmas Eve there :( We skyped that evening so he still got to see Anna in her little Santa dress and listen to her Bible story before bed, but it wasn't quite the same! He decided to see if his dad would be able to drive him home sometime on Christmas Day ... but apparently changed his mind at some point during the night, because at 7am on Christmas morning the doorbell rang and Mark was standing on our front doorstep!! He had gotten up at 5am, bundled on all the extra clothes he could find at his parents' house, and walked home through 4 miles of snowdrifts and ice so he could be home on Christmas morning!! Talk about husband/daddy of the year award :)

Christmas morning at our house:

This is what Mark had to walk through to get home! But he made it in time to help Anna open her stocking :)

Anna and Christmas in the mirror that is still sitting on my floor because I haven't figured out where it goes in the new house yet!

After opening presents, Mark's dad picked him up (in the 4WD Jeep!) to see whether the two of them could pull Mark's car out of the snow and up onto the driveway at their house. Anna and I went along for the ride, and Anna got her first sleigh-ride at Mimi and Papa's house! We had to come up with a makeshift sled, though, because all the real ones were missing - sad! That's ok, we still had a lot of fun :)

Just after Christmas, on the 28th, we were able to welcome into the world our sweet godson, baby Zechariah Lee Crawford! I am in love, and hopefully Anna will soon be as well since she and Riah are delighted to announce their future engagement! :) He had to be under bili lights for his jaundice for a little while, so he has a lot of blue-tinted pictures! He is gorgeous, though, and we're so excited to finally meet him.

I mentioned Smackey's diagnosis ... he found out at the end of last year that he has thyroid cancer. This came as a TOTAL shock to us, and we were really devastated at the news. However, he and Megan are totally trusting in God for their future and they're totally inspiring me in the way that they're dealing with this news. He is scheduled for surgery on January 25th ... send up the prayers! For those of you that know Smackey and Megan, you can see their updates on their blog at
Seeing him over Christmas was AWESOME, but also hard. More so for Mark, I think, since Smackey has been one of his best friends for so many years. But we're praying and trusting God for successful surgery on the 25th!

And that, I think, sums up the last month or so :) Steph is flying in for a few days at the end of this month, and then we'll be heading across the seas to take Anna on her first long-haul flight (eek!) to see England! We're excited .... it's been two and a half years since we were back! England, prepare to meet the most beautiful little babesy in the whole world :)