July 2014 update

Someone in our family had a 'milestone' 40th birthday this
month, but we won't mention her name.
We're driving to the West Coast in a couple of days to visit family and have a little vacation. Sadly, we won't be making it up north to Oregon this time as we wanted to see our SoCal friends/family since it's been two years since we've been down there. We've also never driven the southern route west so the boys are very excited to see New Mexico and Arizona for the first time (I've never been to NM or AZ either!). Before we head out, here's what's been going on with the Crawford's and EMI this past month:

We sent 4 project teams out from the US office this semester to work in Haiti, Ghana, Estonia, and Ethiopia. So far, I've helped out on two of them - a new medical clinic in rural Ghana, and a foster home center for up to 80 children in Estonia (the first time EMI has ever done a project in this former Soviet state). For each of these, I helped with structural advice on a few of the buildings, as well as providing a review of the overall project and master plan.

As I've mentioned before, I am heading up the relaunch of our new Latin America ('America Latina' - hence the 'AL') office (no, we're not moving to Latin America to join the office, I'm just leading the relaunch). We've been having monthly conference calls (via a 'Skype' type of program that allows multiple video/audio participants) with the team, and this time we welcomed three new couples who are considering joining the team. This is really exciting as we currently only have two committed families, one short of the minimum of three we need to start a new office. Some of the team will be joining a project to the region (Peru) in September, so please be praying that God speaks to these families clearly about whether or not he wants them to join the team moving down to Latin America in the Summer of 2015.

After 3 months of desk-squatting, I finally have an office of
my own!
The developing International Office is in quite a transitional time. There are 5 departments in the IO, each with a Director in charge: Programs, Finance, Development & Communications, HR and Recruiting. The Programs Director will be moving to join our new West Africa office at the end of the year. The Devel/Comm Director has not yet arrived after just leaving the India office after 5 years, the Recruiting Director has just returned from a 6-month sabbatical, and we've just named an HR Director who is currently on staff in our EA office (and will remain there for at least a couple of years). Since the IO is newly forming, I've been tasked with bringing all of these departments together and making sure they're coordinated and unified as the IO charts the course ahead - especially as we're adding two more overseas offices in the coming two years.

Alisha and intern Katie - the mentoring of interns at EMI is
not only something we enjoy doing, we learn a lot ourselves
from these impressive young engineers/architects.
Alisha and I have both mentored interns this semester - something we really enjoy doing. EMI interns are some of the best and brightest young people in the country, so it is a privilege for us to have the chance to make a small impact in their lives during their brief time with EMI.

When we return from the West Coast, I will be golfing in EMI's annual golf marathon fundraiser next month - the only organizational fundraiser we do here in the IO/US office. At the end of September, I'll be traveling to Egypt for the annual EMI Director's Conference. As I mentioned before, while we're there we'll be taking a two-part training session (boot camp - ha!) for preparing for crisis situations, both from a management position and a field position. They're tight-lipped about what all we've be subjected to, but the point is to give us several different types of experiences in order to help give us confidence should we ever encounter a 'crisis' situation while we're out on a project trip.

We had the EMI interns over for a BBQ on the 4th of July.
We also held our own World Cup tournament too. The first
round was won by Brodie's 'Iran' team, and the second by me
and Graysen's 'Wales' team.
When we haven't been glued to the TV watching the World Cup, summer so far has been filled with Vacation Bible Schools and soccer camps for the boys, and once again getting used to the impressive Colorado thunderstorms. Rarely does a day that starts sunny, end sunny in Colorado! And now this week, we're now looking forward to seeing our 'Southern' family and friends, as well as a couple of days in the Bay Area. Do get in touch with us if you're around and have time to meet up to say hi!
Go Team USA! This was our 'street celebration' after beating
Ghana in our first World Cup match!

"The good news is, you not only have free tickets to a World
Cup match, we will pay you to be there! The bad news is, you
will unfortunately have to stand with your back to the game
the whole time and watch the crowd." #lamestjobintheworld
We had a refresher on good oral hygiene now that we're back
in the US and no longer a part of the UK's NHS (National
Healthcare System) :(.
They're just so cute - we have to post monthly pictures of
Millie (or Mildred when she's in trouble - which is unfortunately
more often than I'd rather report), and...
Murphy - who so far is by far the most low-maintenance and
easy-going pet we've ever had. He's a star! (And yes, these
two little fur-balls are as soft and cuddly as they look. :) )


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