Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Unprofessional Photo Shoot

That's what you get with me behind the camera... and here's what you might hear me say during a quick shoot:

Okay, you guys, look at me and we'll try to get done real fast.

Whoops! The baby doesn't have shoes on... we'll just roll with it.

Okay, everyone look at me and smile please.

Say: Papi's stinky.

Everyone look at Mami. Okay, say: Papi wears diapers.

No, Cruz, we're not talking about your diapers.
That got a good smile, let's say that again. Cruz, look at me. *Blows raspberry*

Alright, no more blowing raspberries... and Eliana, please don't take off your shoes right now.

Okay, we're not going to pout about the shoes right now. One more time, say: Papi has a stinky diaper!

(Eliana: top- vintage @Little Vintage Me, pants- Target; Cruz: turtleneck- hand-me-downs, pants- vintage thrifted; Diego- shirt- vintage thrifted, pants- Target)

Not exactly professional, and certainly not respectful... but at least I've got a  few smiles with it. What are your favorite tricks for getting the kids to look.... er, somewhat normal when taking pictures? I. Need. Help.

Linking up today:


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Christmastime at LVM!

Are you ready? I'm trying to be! Okay, getting ready in time for Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) didn't even happen. Who was I kidding? Seriously, I was incharge of coordinating plans for our Thanksgiving trip, making stuffing and pies for our Thanksgiving dinner, packing, getting ready to sell our car, and then of course our traveling woes on the way back. Whatevs. But how about Tuesday? It's been a good day to start rolling out some super cute clothes for the holiday season!

We'll see what other goodies I roll out later this week, but I'm thrilled with the progress I've made, and in love with so many of the vintage pieces I've found! I hope you'll enjoy as well!
Linking up tonight:

Monday, November 28, 2011


Today, I'm thanking God for:

  • an awesome time visiting Jesse's family.
  • Louisiana's jacket-free weather to play in.
  • mosquito bites to remind me why I should appreciate our Kansas' jacket-required weather.
  • my granny's stuffing recipe.
  • my kids getting to meet new cousins and deepen relationships.
  • traveling mercies.
  • my husband's ability to change out an alternator and the fact that we landed in a town with an Autozone and a motel when it decided to go out.
  • selling our Santa Fe!!!
  • piles of dirty clothes that are evidence of a vacation well spent!
  • a washer and dryer.
  • the ability to sleep in our own beds tonight.
  • the coming Christmas season!
  • beards.
What are you thankful for tonight?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Honestly, when my cousin called and asked if I could watch her little boy yesterday I hesitated for just a moment.

He's just a few months older than Diego, so one would think they'd play together all the time. But silly us! that hasn't happened. I hesitated because we play with girls in this family. It's not that we try to avoid boys. On the contrary, I've tried numerous times to arrange boy play dates but it hasn't worked out. Other than our home-school group and church, Diego rarely sees boys his age. And it's exactly these places that made me hesitate. Boys are crazy when they get together! Like loud-crazy; like sword-fighting and bodily-function-crazy. And I'm in the midst of preparing my family to leave for Thanksgiving. And I'm unaccustomed to that kinda crazy.

But I said, "Yes." And I'm so glad I did! Yes, they were crazy... yes, there were a few bodily function words floating about that I had to put a stop to, and yes, someone did get pushed a bit too hard and bang his head. But I got to see a side of Diego that rarely gets a chance to come out to that degree. I mean, it's there all the time, but somehow Eliana seems to mellow it out with her desire to play tea party and mommy-daddy role play. Anyway, it was lovely... even when they spilled all the Legos all over the floor and then spent 30 minutes picking them up. They were having fun! And Diego, at the end of the day said: "Come back anytime!" What a blessing yesterday was!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Under a Rock, I Suppose

Being a stay-at-home mommy is somewhat the same as living under a rock, I suppose. How else can I explain that I've never heard of Sufjan Stevens? But Pandora got it really right this time on my Christmas music. I mean, seriously? Because I like 400-some-year-old Riu, Riu Chiu which is in old Spanish, that means I must want Mexican Polka Christmas music? Uh, no. And I don't really want Beyonce singing me carols either.

But back to Stevens. I don't think he'd be my go-to guy the rest of the year and I certainly wouldn't suggest taking theology lessons from him. He does have an album based on Chinese zodiac and I don't know what all else. Still I'm thoroughly enjoying listening to his Christmas goodies like this one. And I think I know what Christmas album to buy when I get a chance!

Have a lovely Saturday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The past 24 hours have been full of blessings:
  • I had a chance to spend a good amount of time talking to a girl friend of mine over coffee. She was gracious enough to accommodate me and the crazy demands of parenting by being willing just to come over and hang instead of asking me to meet her somewhere. It was wonderful; I was able to put kiddos to bed, do the dishes and talk about the Lord all at the same time. It was great to be encouraged in the Lord and to pray, laugh, and cry together.
  • Jesse was able to show the car to someone who seems seriously interested in purchasing it. Which means that  we may soon be able to buy something that will fit our family better. We're still praying about that.
  • The kids and I had an opportunity to meet Oliver via skype today... he's absolutely precious and I'm just dying for a chance to see him in person! He's beautiful and was so alert! He had his eyes open looking at us... so much fun.
  • Pumpkin Cookies with the kids. (We just used a sugar cookie mix, half a can of pumpkin and some chocolate chips-- of course!) I've lamented the fact that Diego was allergic to pumpkin in the past, but it appears he's outgrown it and I can't even begin to express how grateful I am to be baking with pumpkin again. It's perfectly lovely.
  • Diego says "cookery book." One of the British terms he must have picked up from the days of Thomas. 
  • We rarely watch Thomas anymore.
  • God has been moving in my husband's heart in some unexpected ways. Perhaps changing the path we walk down as a family... one I thought was pretty much set in stone. I do realize that God often moves in unexpected ways, but witnessing it so closely is always breath-taking and so full of joy and laughter. I'm always blessed to see how God is transforming some of my favorite people.
  • Another blessing, Little Man has finally fallen asleep! (He's been fighting afternoon nap.) Hopefully he'll rest for a while since he's still under the weather. We're going back to the doctor again bright and early tomorrow to hopefully find a solution to his yucky crud.
How has God been blessing you recently?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It sometimes seems that the whole world is having babies right now...

Case in point, meet Oliver. 

He's my newest nephew, born earlier today. 

But will I get to hold him and snuggle and get my baby fix? No, because my brother and sister-in-law are dumb and therefore moved to Florida. Love you guys anyway. Even if you do live in Florida. Did I mention it's dumb?

So this little guy will have to suffice. And he's not into snuggling. Or even holding still. In fact, most of the time if I try to hold him, he tries to wriggle out of my arms and quickly try to go climb up something like Diego's bed to prove that he indeed is not a baby but a toddler. Rotten kid. Perhaps if I swaddle him really tight it will take him a few more minutes to loosen himself before he's able to wriggle out of my arms. Nah, I probably shouldn't try it. But I might if I don't get a baby fix soon.

Come for a visit soon, Oli! We sure can't wait to meet you... especially Cruz.

The Bizness

To be honest, bizness has been slow around here. Perhaps it's that I haven't listed much recently, but the main level of my home is looking pretty awesome right now! (Ehhh, we won't discuss the disaster area that is called my upstairs.) And I had a super cool birthday party for a special one year old I know, so perhaps it's alright that things have been slower. 

a woman's touch

However, I do realize that Christmas is just around the corner, so I need to get my act together this week and get lots of stuff listed so that I'm ready for Black Friday because everyone shops etsy on Black Friday, right? No? Well then, Cyber Monday? and that'll give me a few more days right?

In the mean time, Etsy is trying to keep me busy because I got a message from their admin today telling me that they're featuring one of my items on Etsy Vintage! Hooray... and perhaps I did a little dance! Good thing you weren't here to see it because I can't say I'm graceful. Check it out here!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Granny and Grandad

Today I'm remembering my grandad who served our country so bravely... I wish I had known him better. Through his personal writings, I have had a chance to understand him more. (That's why I firmly believe writing your story is so valuable... whether in a blog or in a notebook!) He was a man of great character and conviction who served his country dutifully alongside many self-sacrificing men. For them I am grateful!

I'm remembering my granny, whose birthday is today. Who didn't have a fancy wedding because the man she loved was about to go off to war. Who said this was as close to a wedding photo as they came because the base where they were married would not allow photography. Who I knew well, and miss greatly!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

10 on 10

A day at home is always nice... we've been having many of those with the cold and ickies already floating around! Most of the time, I'm more than ready to leave the house the second Jesse returns home from work, but I'm loving the present of being at home and just learning to be. My kids are such a testimony of God's goodness and I'm loving this time of hanging out "just us" and loving on them. Here's a snapshot of our life around here today.

fall decor to greet us this morning

 bread dough

morning nap

 baked bread

 alphabet review

sandwiches with homemade bread

can't wait for some snow so we can really try his birthday toy out!

 afternoon naps

 new issue of babiekins = swooning 
(go enjoy when you're done reading this post!)

take-down remaining party decor aka. baby Cruz shrine

Linking up here:
ten on ten button small

And here:

How about you? Are you enjoying home or being out more recently?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Okay, I'll admit it, I've got Christmas on the brain. It could possibly have something to do with the December issue of Martha Stewart Living I received in the mail this week. Dreamy. And by dreamy I mean having an infinite amount of staff to do whatever projects I want to do but don't have time for.

Anyway, I want to be prepared this year... I wasn't last year. And I want to bake and make many of the gifts we'll be giving away this year. We'll see how it goes. Ahem.

In the meantime, I'm loving some of these repurposed items for containers. So fun!

And that's What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some Children See Him

I may or may not be listening to Christmas music today. Which is strictly forbidden by Jesse until the day after Thanksgiving. Whatevs. I'm enjoying it... I'm ready. Not for the cold weather... just the wonder that the season brings. Especially to my kids.

While listening I found this song that reminds me of this sweet illustration. I love her voice. So pure and retains a child-like innocence. Love. It.

If you're not familiar with the book, it's Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field; illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Field. You should buy it for your littles... the illustrations are just a sweet as the prayer.

Hope you're having a Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Two Cups, A Bowl and My Boy

It's been a dreary day. Cold, dark, rainy. I don't mind at all. It can pour and the boy and I can hang out. Eliana woke up with a runny nose this morning. Cruz woke up from a 30 minute afternoon nap with a runny nose and low grade fever. They're finally laying down. Again. In the meantime, my big boy and I are enjoying hot chocolate, popcorn and a movie... and finishing up some illustrations for today's school work.

This weather makes me nostalgic:

  • It makes me remember drinking hot chocolate with my granny. She liked to make cinnamon toast sticks to pair with the treat. I miss her!
  • It makes me think of snuggling with my momma as she'd read us chapter books. The Little House books and Chronicles of Narnia and so many other wonderful treasures.
  • It makes me remember bowls of popcorn with my daddy--who still makes his popcorn the right way on the stove. 
Unlike me who grabbed a bag and threw it in the microwave. It's alright. My boy's happy with it anyway. And I made up for it by steaming the milk for the hot chocolate. Salted, of course. Mine with cayenne pepper.

Snuggle with your babies, read a good book, share a treat, spend time, laugh together and make memories. It's the perfect weather to do so! Have a Marvelous Monday!

Friday, November 4, 2011


How can a year possibily have passed by so quickly? How is it this little life has gone from sleepy and quiet to noisy and mad-dash? I nursed him this morning for the last time. And now I'm going to cry about it. 8 weeks ago I was more than ready to give it up but persevered 'til today. But we're done. I  miss it already.

Cruz, I love you for the smiles. I love you for the tears. I love you for the way you've changed my life. I love you for making me rely on God for the strength to parent you. I love you for your giggles. I love you for your strength. I love you for your weaknesses. I love you for your snuggles. I love you for the pain you've brought. I love you for the joy you are. I love you for the trials. I love you for the patience. I love you for you are mine. I love you for you are God's. I love you for you are a gift!

(photo by: Elisabeth Owens)

Happy Birthday, Little Man... may you grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Linking up:

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I'm so blessed! I have a terrific aunt and uncle who gave up their Francis Chan tickets for Jesse and I to be able to go hear him tonight. This guy's writing has challenged me so much... so it brought tears to my eyes when Jesse told me she had dropped them off.

I was super-excited to find that they had found another set and will be able to go themselves. I am also blessed by cool parents who are willing to watch my babies so we can go! Blessed, blessed, blessed! And there you go.

How has your day been?

PS-- I think there may be a few more floating around if you're in the area and would like to go. Check here for more info!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Transforming my Heart

Over the past few weeks, I've been mulling over how to teach my children about those with differences from a biblical perspective. I've been amazed how praying for my eyes to be opened so I can find out how to teach my children, has been much more about changing me. God has slowly been transforming my old ideas and giving more of His heart for all of His children.

A few weeks ago, Julie dropped into my life via BSF. We'd already had the opportunity to meet on a few occasions through a mutual friend, but now I had a chance to get to know her heart. Her heart is one set on adoption. God has set apart their super-sweet family to add one more to their brood in a way not dissimilar to the way God adds us to His family.  Immediately, she asked for prayer in wisdom and guidance for  whom to adopt. What a weighty decision to be faced with... so when she posted this last night, I could see how God has been working in her heart the past few weeks, but also, what she wrote also struck a chord in my own heart.

"Satan has built a variety of attributes/lies into our culture regarding the assignment of worth . . . and I have bought into them more than I ever realized. They are: beauty, intelligence, and achievement. Society gives more worth and more attention to pretty people-they are treated differently. Parents feel guilty if their kids aren't intelligent. We are told we are only as good as what we accomplish."

Ouch! These attributes which the world values... I have also valued. How many times have I been puffed up with pride at my daughter's beauty or my sons' accomplishments? Do they mean anything? No. They are temporal not eternal... and they could easily be taken away tomorrow through accident or illness. But Julie continues:

"Regardless of what special needs she may or may not possess, may the unchanging, unconditional love of God flood our chosen child's heart and define her worth. May we be faithful to teach her eternal values and demonstrate to her a glimmer of unconditional love."

Amen, Julie! Case in point? This little guy, Jude Matthew, who last week went to be with his loving Father. His life was too short to accomplish anything noteworthy by world standards. He will never be heralded by this world the way someone like Steve Jobs was. But I find so much worth in Jude-- an eternal worth! You see, with the exception of my own children, Jude has challenged my spiritual walk more than any other child through his parent's blog. God has used Jude to draw people to Himself  and He has used Jude to transform them into someone more like Himself and that is full of worth! That is what I want to develop in my own children... a sense of worth found in Christ and bringing glory to His name. 

This is the lesson that I need to learn before I am able to teach it to my children. I want to be (and then, my children to be) like the lame man in Act 14 who was so full of faith that Paul was able to see it just by looking at him! I want my own children to learn to find their worth in God, so it can never be stripped away from them! I desire to model that to them by putting my faith in God and finding my value in Him... nothing else!

But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. -Philippians 3:7-9 (CEV)