Donna Crawford
Redondo Beach, California


I was born in North Carolina and lived there until I was about 2 or so.  My father was in the military, so we moved every year or two.  We lived up and down the east coast, in Arkansas, Germany and Kansas, before he retired in 1980.  I attended Manhattan High School (in Kansas) and college and law school at the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!!).

I've lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and California since leaving my parents' home.  I currently live in California with my husband Kirk (even while we were on our RTW, we considered California as home). My family and friends are scattered all over the place, as you can imagine.

My husband and I are highly involved with our church, locally. I have lots of hobbies, including cooking, HAM radio, reading, travelling, bzflag, and sports/outdoor activities. Although I love to watch Jayhawk Basketball, I generally prefer to participate. Some of my favorites are beach volleyball, scuba diving, cycling, rowing, swimming, snow skiing, tramping, surfing, off-roading, etc.

My travels over the last few years have taken me to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and most recently, on a 15-country, 1-year round-the-world trip.

Feel free to drop me an email to let me know how you're doing, or any other suggestions you have for these pages! And be sure to sign my new Guestbook!

Recent Articles

Monday, March 12


Grant Me...Wisdom? Strength? Anything?!

So over a month ago now, a couple of my friend from work did something pretty radical. After a year of spending time evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, talents and gifts, interests and more, they were about to be placed into optimal positions at work. But instead, they decided to strike out on their own and, 2 years earlier than planned, launch a non-profit they had been working on (Sharefest). You might remember me mentioning Sharefest in some earlier posts, in particular, those about Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Sharefest is s a nonprofit ecumenical organization dedicated to positive change through tangible acts of service. It exists to bring together churches, community-based organizations and businesses to meet needs and foster hope and unity within the South Bay as a whole. As a non-profit, it relies heavily on donations and fundraisers in order to accomplish its purposes.

When Bryan and Chad left King's Harbor, I told them to let me know if they needed any help. Well, I've now (somehow!) agreed to do their grant writing for them. Having never done any grant writing before, I'll probably be finding some sort of a seminar to attend to get up to speed. Also, I'm contacting businesses and organizations all over our area, trying to determine who provides grants (or sponsorships) and gather what information we need in order to submit a grant application. It's a bit overwhelming. On that note, if you know of any businesses (local, national or international) who provide grants for non-profits in Southern California (LA area), please let me know! Name, contact, url - anything you have is helpful.

In additiion, for those of you who might not know, I joined the staff of freenode irc network in January. I'm still coming up to speed on my duties and responsibilities there. There is also a staff blog to which I made my first contribution.

And finally, I'm slowly getting back to work. A month out of the office with illness has made it slow going. But with Bryan and Chad gone and trying to help our new administrator, Chad (there's a funny story about Chads and KHC - remind me to tell you sometime), get oriented and settled in, I feel like I really need to be in the office. Besides, it's really nice to be back at work - I really enjoy the people I work with!


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Tuesday, February 27


Breathing Breaks

When I last wrote, I had broken my shoulder, discovered I had bacterial pneumonia and Kirk had arrived home (just). It was such a joy to have Kirk home after such an extended absence, though I wasn't really feeling well enough to truly enjoy his company. He was scheduled to leave town (already) again on Monday but this time, I went with him, rather than spending yet another week apart. While we were in Berkeley, I started coughing, and it rapidly got worse. We didn't return home in time to make it to the doctor on Friday, so I figured I'd wait it out over the weekend, and if I wasn't better by Monday, I'd go then.

Sunday morning, I started coughing and couldn't stop. I was coughing to the point of retching, which, of course, was torture with my shoulder. Kirk took me to the ER where I spent the majority of the day. They pumped me full of more drugs than I could count and had someone come in and give me breathing treatments every couple of hours. The ER doctor came in and gave me a rather unexpected diagnosis - I was healed of the pneumonia, but now was exhibiting asthmatic bronchitis (no, I don't have asthma, but it was certainly what it seemed like).

After several hours in the ER, I was still having a lot of problems, so they admitted me to the hospital. I was fully expecting to be out the next day. Let me just say, Little Company of Mary Hospital is great. The staff was great, the food was ok (which is a BIG deal for a hospital), they were very flexible, helpful and nice. Kirk was allowed to come and go whenever - visiting hours were not enforced. When some of my other friends came by, they were very lenient as well. Kirk spent the entire day with me on both Sunday and Monday (so much for our three day weekend to play and relax).

On Monday, they didn't release me. However, Chris, Holly and Ambre all dropped by at different times of the day. It was really nice to see some familiar faces. Also a good friend of mine, Melissa happened to be working on the ward that day. It was really cool to see her smiling face anytime I got up and went for a walk (which was quite frequent - despite my breathing problems, I do not sit still well).

Tuesday, Garret came by, though I missed him - I was being re-x-rayed (to see how the shoulder was healing). Dina stopped by for a while too. Plus I had my first visit with the physical therapist, Karen. She gave me some exercises to start for my shoulder. Returning phone calls at this point was still rather difficult, as I was as likely as not to launch into a coughing fit while talking.

On Wednesday, I was feeling better. Especially since Kirk had brought me some earplugs and I was actually able to sleep. In fact, I slept so well that when the nurse came in for my 1AM meds and shortly after the respiratory therapist came in, I slept through the entire thing - they weren't able to wake me. I was given the meds, but the therapist saw I was breathing fairly well, and left.

Late in the morning, my mother- and sister-in-law came by with my niece, Amy. We chatted for a while and I was actually released while they were there. Kirk picked me up and drove me home (yay!) and they came over to the house for a while, as I got settled in. I was sent home with an armful of drugs, but it was really nice to be home.

As I write this, I've now started to return to work, even after a full month away. A full day wears me out, so I'm working extra days, but shorter hours. My cough is still hanging on a bit, but it's at least a "useful" cough - I'm coughing stuff out of my lungs. I have tons of emails to return (remember, I type way slower than usual thanks to a broken shoulder), along with some phone calls and letters. I will be starting my "official" physical therapy next week.

Thanks to all of you who were praying for me during this time! It worked and I appreciate each and every one of you! You're awesome!

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Thursday, February 8


Short Update

Here's a very short update on what's been going on - I'll try to remember to provide an expanded version later on. Kirk has been on the road since January 16th. He did manage a short 2 day trip home for our 5-year anniversary, which we spent in Idyllwild. We stayed at a nice little B&B (Strawberry Creek Inn) and went horseback riding. I picked him up from the airport and took him straight back to the airport - he never even got to come back to the apartment.

While he was in Maui, I took the opportunity to head up to Mammoth with some folks from irc. Christel, who I know from freenode (and whose staff I recently joined), and a couple of others were flying up to Mammoth on a Cessna 210. I attended Bryan and Chad's going away lunch and then drove straight to San Diego.

The flight up was nice, but a bit chilly. It was quite dark by the time we landed. A nice dinner out at Roberto's (where Kirk and I had met Fred & Geri 5 years ago) and the next morning we hit the slopes. Or tried to. It took a while to get everyone sorted, and it was almost 11AM by the time we headed up the hill to take our first run.

Turns out that James was a bit newer to skiing than Tracy or I realized, so we took some time getting him over to a green run and then tried to coach him down the run. It was while on this green run that disaster struck. We were near the right hand side of the very wide run, in perfectly clear view to anyone above us. I was standing still explaining how to snow plow, and Tracy was about 20 yards downhill. All the sudden, I looked uphill and saw a guy coming straight for me, completely out of control, laying back on his skis. Before I even had time to react, he ran right into me. I went flying, landing on my head and shoulder. Tracy later said he stopped about a foot or so from where Tracy was standing.

I was in too much pain to even get up and Tracy went for help. Ski patrol came and I got a nice little ride down the hill on a sled - not exactly what I was expecting. From there, the EMTs took me in an ambulance to the hospital, which was packed. After a substantial wait (a portion of which I spent on irc trying to distract myself from the pain), I was finally wheeled into xray - where they made me do my xrays laying down. First I had to remove about 5 layers of clothing - excruicating!

Turns out, I had a fractured glenoid - that's one of the bones making up the socket. Not good. I was done for the trip - without having taken a single run! I spent the next 2 1/2 days in the hotel room, icing my shoulder, taking pain medication and generally sulking a bit. We had some nice meals out and Christel was a doll and hung out with me most of the time, not getting to ski herself.

Monday, we flew home in stellar weather. I got to ride up front with Tracy (the pilot) and saw some magnificent scenery. As I was now in San Diego with my car, I had a 2 1/2 hour drive home ahead of me. We landed fairly late and I was feeling rather weary, so I decided to postpone my drive home for a day. We met Scott (numist) and Ben (krel) out for dinner and then headed back to Tracy's where I slept like the dead.

Tuesday, I just never got around to going home. I was desperately hoping to find someone who would be willing to drive me back - driving without a right arm/shoulder is difficult, even with an automatic. Putting my seatbelt on turned out to be one of my most challenging tasks. I ended up spending all day Thursday in San Diego too - we went over to Scott's house later in the evening and watched House, along with a bunch of his friends and roomates. It was quite packed, with computers and power cords everywhere you looked. We went out for burritos after House, as we were all starving. It was pretty funny to sit in a roomful of people and have 1/2 the conversation happening online and the rest in real life.

Finally, on Wednesday, I had to go home. My orthopedic appointment was for Thursday. I was pretty nervous about making the drive, but I did. Managed to get home without hitting rush hour in San Diego or LA. My friend, Linda, came over and washed my hair on Wednesday night - that was such a blessing.

On Thursday, my orthopedist took new x-rays and discovered I had two breaks in my shoulder. I had an AC separation and a glenoid break. The AC separation is pretty much ignored - they don't repair those, just let them sort of "heal" on their own (although they pretty much don't go back to the way they were - I'll forever have a bump in my shoulder where the bone sticks up). The glenoid fracture was more troublesome and he sent me for a CTscan on Friday.

I had the scan on Friday and was due to go back in to see my doctor on Monday to get hte results of the scan. However, his office called me Friday afternoon to tell me they had made me an appointment with a specialist - I was seeing him on Monday instead. To me, this meant I was very likely going to require surgery - not good.

Another friend (from bzflag), Manaen (zk), gave me a ring. He is in town for some work training. His timing was perfect, as I was just trying to figure out who to call for a ride to church. When Manaen called, he mentioned going to church, so I invited him to come along AND be my chauffeur, to which he agreed. His internal clock was a bit mixed up though, as he arrived to pick me up at 6:45AM (instead of 8AM). He woke me up when he called, surprising me! We had breakfast at Good Stuff (where I had one of the girls braid my hair) and then headed over to my church, King's Harbor. By the time church was over, I was pretty worn out, so he took me home. I had a Superbowl party I was supposed to attend that afternoon but I ended up staying home and resting.

Monday came along and I went to my specialist appointment. No one had sent over any of the information on my case - not the x-rays or the CTscan. Gah! They took yet a third set of x-rays and got the CTscan written report faxed over. Based on those two items, he decided I did not need surgery! Hooray, good news at last.

Fast forward to today. I've been feeling rather poorly since Monday. I kept hearing a sort of rattling in my chest if I tried to breathe while laying down. Despite taking aspirin, etc., I had a fever that kept coming and going (not too high - no more than about 101) and I had started coughing too (although I resisted coughing as it hurt my shoulder). Finally today, I gave in and went to the doctor. They did a chest x-ray (I'm going to be radioactive if they keep this up) and discovered I have bacterial pneumonia. They think it is caused because of the broken shoulder - I haven't been breathing as deeply as usual and consequently, have been unable to clear my lungs.

So now, not only is it a total pain to type (mostly done one-handed), but it is also difficult to talk, as it tends to make me want to cough, which I decidedly do not want to do.

An aside (but very important), I have terrific friends. Throughout this whole process, my friends and coworkers have been bringing me meals, doing my laundry, washing my hair, shopping for me. I am truly blessed!

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Tuesday, December 5


Holiday Cheer

The executive pastor at my church sent this to me. :)

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Wednesday, October 11


An Extreme Week

Well, now that the public announcement has been made, I can post about a rather exciting event coming to the South Bay! Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has chosen a South Bay family for its next project. That means that for a week (beginning today), the South Bay will be host to thousands of volunteers who will, in a single week, demo (destroy) the existing house on the property and build a new, special purpose home for the selected family! It's a massive undertaking, and even more so when you realize that all the labor, all the materials for the home are donated. The volunteer team will work around the clock (24 hours x 7 days x 1 week) to complete the house in the allotted time.

What makes this even more exciting for me is the connection that I am fortunate enough to have to this project! Obviously, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is an ABC program. But how does it work? ABC selects a local builder. In this case, our close friend, Vic Braden, and his company Cornerstone Construction Group, was selected. Vic took on an amazing task 2 years ago - he agreed to, on a strictly volunteer basis, be the general contractor for the renovation of the Morrell House in Redondo Beach (very near my house). The renovation began as a ShareFest project, but for 18 months, Vic and several people from our church gave up every Saturday to restore the craftsman style home to its original splendor. Kirk worked with Vic often. In addition, Vic has been the general contractor on most of the Mississippi Mission trips through King's Harbor Church. The first year that Kirk and I led a team to Mississippi, Vic was our GC. Vic has incredible ethics, amazing talent and he's a joy to work with. He has an incredible heart for God and inspires others daily.

When Vic was contacted by ABC and asked to take on this role, he called the church and had the staff begin praying for him. Ultimately, he agreed to take on the massive project. It's an interesting story Vic tells. He owns a small, local, family-run construction firm. Certainly not the typical profile for the contractors that ABC selects for this sort of thing. Several times, Vic said, "are you sure you have the right guy?!" Every time, the response was "We know who you are, and yes, we are sure!" Right before he got the call from ABC, Vic and his wife Linda were looking at their business. They had just finished a few projects. They had a couple more lined up to start. The new projects fell through at the last minute. Suddenly, they were faced with an empty plate and no real understanding of why. Then ABC called. God's timing is perfect! :) If they had had those projects when they received the call, they could not have said yes.

The way the project works is that ABC pre-selects five families from a general area. The families are notified they have been nominated, but no one knows which family has been chosen. Well, no one except a very VERY few at ABC and the top people involved in the project, the architects, etc. Who is the family, you ask?

Officer Ripatti leaves the hospital after being shot in the chestEarlier this year, LAPD Officer Kristina Ripatti (wife of LAPD Gang Officer Tim Pearce and mother of a young child) was shot while on patrol. She is now paralyzed from the chest down. The house we are "making over" will be for that family. King's Harbor Church and ShareFest both include many attendees and volunteers who are "first responders" - police officers, firemen, paramedics, etc. This particular project is an excellent fit for our participation.

So, ShareFest, Cornerstone Construction Group, a local marketing firm (Beckett & Beckett) and ABC are partnering up to do an amazing work in our small community. In the last weeks, hundreds and hundreds of volunteers are being lined up from the professional trades. Typically building is done on a horizontal timeline. The foundation is poured. When it's ready, the framers come in and frame the house. Then, the plumbers come in. Everything happens in a specific order. In this case, the building is done vertically - the subcontractors will be in the house at the same time, virtually on top of one another, trying to complete the work in the extraordinarily short time frame. If you've ever been around construction before, you know that generally, the subcontractors (or "subs" as they are often called) often don't speak to one another...they view themselves as being in competition with one another. This timeline forces them not only to talk to one another, but even to work together!

In addition to searching for manpower to build the house, CCG and ShareFest have been urgently rounding up suppliers to donate the materials used to build the house, food to feed the hundreds of volunteers, buses to get everyone in and out of the neighborhood, tents for the various headquarters, RVs for the few people involved who have to be onsite 24/7 for the duration of the project, and so many other things. The South Bay (and Southern California in general) has proven a tough sell for many. Many many movies are filmed here and so many companies are accustomed to these requests - they don't want to give anything away. On the other hand, if any of the materials are purchased and not donated, the family may find itself taxed on the home, which does not accomplish the goal. And so, many many phone calls are made, people involved trying desperately to find the few remaining requirements.

Perhaps you are now asking yourself whether Kirk and I are going to be involved in all of this. The answer is, quite simply, "YES!" Kirk is on the "Smart House" team. The entire house will be wired for all sorts of smart things - automated/remote control lights, computers, etc. I don't even know what it all includes, but Kirk is well-equipped to help out in this area. Our friend, Mike, is has a company that puts this sort of thing into houses regularly and he is running the team. Even though Kirk will really only be in town for a single day before leaving again for Australia, he will work his shift - contributing what he can. I have actually already done some work on the project, working on some behind-the-scenes stuff for ShareFest. In addition to building the house, we will be taking donations for the family. At the end of the week, we cut a check to the family for all of the donations we've taken in. (In reality, the donations will keep coming, as will the checks to the family, but for purposes of the show, the family is handed a check when they move back into their new home). In addition, I'm on the call list for several teams, and have been asked to be a "Marshall" (which means a gopher). I'm happy to do whatever I can.

As you can tell, I'm quite excited about this project and am looking forward to seeing what is accomplished in the South Bay as a result. Of course, a house will be built...but so much more is already happening! I will try to post updates as we go along!

The official project website lists much more information about the family, the volunteers and donors. In addition, you can donate from that site and volunteer to help!

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Wednesday, October 26


Steven's Surgery

Today, our friend Steven is in surgery. The tentative diagnosis is portal hypertension and the doctors are planning to perform a rather complicated procedure called Distal Splenorenal Shunt (DSRS). The procedure is expected to take approximately 7 hours. Please pray for Steven's well-being & for healing, for the doctors to have steady hands and cool heads, and for peace and comfort for the family.

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Monday, October 24



Our friend, Steven, has been in the hospital for internal bleeding (and they don't know why). He is out at the moment for a few days, but will be returning to the hospital on Wednesday for a long, rather complicated surgery. Please keep him and his family in prayer. He will be in the hospital for upwards of 10 days post-surgery.

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Friday, April 8


Mississippi On My Mind

In less than 12 hours, we'll be Mississippi-bound! It's been an insane week, one in which we have been busy seemingly every night! Last Sunday, we had our team potluck...and our jeep decided to have problems on the way up the hill. Turns out our water pump went out, along with the alternator. $750 later, it's running fine again (which is a good thing since we'll be taking it to Moab soon enough).

Monday, we started Authentic Woman back up. The class will be about 3 weeks longer this time. It's a great class, but a lot of work on my end.

It's been an emotional week, full of stress, excitement and preparations! Please pray for us while we're in Mississippi!

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Sunday, April 3


Time Flies

Time truly does fly - when you're having fun or not! I just finished a rough cut of the first draft of the new project I took on - the Women's Ministry section of our church website. It was so sadly out of date before that I volunteered to work on it - I was tired of people complaining they couldn't find anything on it (or for that matter, that ~I~ couldn't find anything on it).

I am also starting Authentic Woman again tonight. It's the second time it will be offered. Chris is expanding the class from 7 weeks to 10, as one of the biggest bits of feedback he got after the first class was it was way too short (the men, after all, have three years worth of classes!). It's a wonderful class, but lots of administrative work.

We are rapidly approaching our trip to Mississippi (we leave in less than a week). As we wildly make our preparations and time slips away, I find myself in the midst of what I knew would happen - I'm in over my head. I expected it...yet... But this is how God works, isn't it? He gets us to a point where we truly are in over our heads and then we have no choice but to turn to Him. I'm there!

Pray for us as we enter the last days before we leave. Also, for our car, which decided to die on the way to the team potluck. It appears that the waterpump may have gone out. We are hoping that's the extent of the damage (there was some sort of electrical warning light on too), especially since we are slated to take the Jeep to Moab for a week to go four-wheeling just 6 days after we get back from Mississippi.

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Sunday, March 13


The Last Vote

On March 8, Redondo Beach went to the polls. Among the various races and ballots is a hotly contested Mayoral race. The outgoing mayor, Greg Hill, was not running. Among the several candidates on the ballot were a one-issue candidate (Michael Gin, running solely on the issue of what to do with the closing plant), city councilman Gerard Bisignano, and Ellen Allen (whose primary notariety was proposing one of the two options placed on the ballot for the land vacated by the closing plant). None of the candidate received a 50% majority, so a run-off is inevitable.

Gerard Bisignano, the city councilman, goes to our church. Until today, I hadn't heard the election was as close as it was (last I heard, it was a .4% difference). As of today, after three re-counts, Gin is in first place, with Bisignano in one vote. No, I didn't say 1% - I said 1 vote. Whoever said "my votes doesn't count" obviously has been paying attention to the Redondo Beach mayoral election.

Today, I heard an interesting story from Angela (Gerard's wife). They have had a stoneworker doing work on their house recently. The day of the election, things were looking pretty close and he said to Gerard & Angela, "I'm going to pray you win by exactly one vote." Later on, he told them "and that one vote is God's vote." Well, the results (as they stand today) tell the tale.

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Tuesday, February 15


Back to Mississippi

Well, it's official! Kirk and I are going back to Mississippi for the third time to work with the John Perkins Foundation. This time, though, we will be going as team leaders. We are excited and a little nervous about the responsibility. Essentially, we will be taking a team of contractors, builders and lots of unskilled labor (like me) to go build houses and work on the grounds of the Spencer Perkins Center in the inner city of Jackson, Mississippi. The Center and Foundation are focused on racial reconcilation and economic development. We did the same trip in 2001 (before we started dating) and 2004 (last year). We will need to raise about $650 each to cover our costs while we are there serving. If you are interested in donating money, it should be sent to "King's Harbor Church, 1617 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite D, Redondo Beach, CA 90277" and the check should be written to King's Harbor with a note on the memo line that says "Mississippi/Kirk & Donna". Feel free to send me and email with any questions you have about our trip!

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Monday, August 16


Busy Weekend

We had a busy, but fun weekend. After the Luau on Friday, I went over to hang out with my friend, Gia, who was getting married the next morning. She had several girls over to her hotel room. We prayed with her and laughed with her. It was a nice time. I didn't get home until quite late, of course.

Kirk & Donna at another weddingHer wedding was at noon. Luckily, I had prepared the potluck dish I was bringing the day before. The wedding was at our church building in Torrance. It turned out to be a really nice venue for a wedding (it was the first one I've been to over there). James & GiaHer Gia, of course, looked beautiful! The wedding and reception were both a lot of fun!

After the reception, we dashed home, where I made dinner for a couple of friends that were coming over. We had a nice time hanging out and chatting with them. We even taught them to play a quick game of palace.

On Sunday, we attended church on the beach for the first time all summer. In the afternoon, we headed over to a birthday celebration for our nephew, Scott. It is so nice to have family close by!

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Donna in Austria
Click for larger image Austria, August 2003