Life in a Flash » capturing life one moment at a time.

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  • HELLO.

    I'm Jenn. I'm a full time mom to five. I love photography, Africa, crafts, thrifting, classical music, and this crazy good life God has given me. I spend my days dreaming up decorating solutions while picking Goldfish crackers out of my hair. I like my camera , guacamole, and old stuff. We've got three home grown littles and two who came to us through the miracle of adoption. We are loud and busy. I take lots of photos because I'm fully aware that life happens in a flash...and I don't want to miss it.

  • let’s be friends.

It’s been too long.

I can’t believe it has been several weeks since I’ve been able to get on and update the blog.  SO MUCH has happened in those crazy weeks that I’m not really even sure where to start.  But I had this post saved as a draft so I will publish it and then share more of our Christmas festivities over the next few days!  I have so many images to sort through!

This was just a collection of a few snapshots during the last week of school!

{The Brainiac playing with her sextet at the school orchestra concert}


{best friends}


{the bigger littles caroling at church on Sunday morning with their choir Joyful Noise}


{Sunshine singing a dozen or more Christmas carols in English without missing a beat}


{Danny Boy loving on his Baboo in the church lobby}


{The girls performing at church with their choir}


{all dressed up for their Christmas program}


And the obligatory “stand in front of the tree” photo of each of the munchkins!

Anna -age 11


Julia – age 9


Helina – age 7


Sam – age 5


Danny -age 3


I hope you all had the MERRIEST Christmas.  Our house was FULL and so was my heart.  It was a truly blessed holiday and I am so thankful that we were able to spend it at home around so many of the people that we love!!  I’ll be back soon with more photos to share!!


I am really awesome at doing a lot of different things with mediocrity.  I’m not an expert on anything.  I’m a dabbler.  A little decorating, a little photography (no evidence of that in this post), a little mommying.  But at this time of year…I am mostly scattered.  I’m trying to be intentional with my little people and not allow the stress to seep into our family life.  But that is a daily struggle.  With all of the concerts, and school, and end of the year parties….the baking (yeah, right), shopping, wrapping, and such….it is just a constant whirlwind.  I think I will collapse on December 26th into a week long coma 🙂

I have the best of intentions to blog daily.  But I am just too plain busy dabbling in other things to get myself to this spot to try to wrangle out my thoughts.

So you get the Reader’s Digest version tonight and crummy phonography.  Mediocrity at it’s finest.

{Last minute symphony tickets with my big girls which included yummy cookies at intermission as well as tintalizing conversation in the car on the correct pronunciation of the word “urine”.  There’s a reason we don’t have season tickets.}


{This little wooden nativity has been a favorite for years.  One year I found Baby Jesus in March in the back of my silverware drawer. }


{The Brainiac about died a thousand deaths when I asked her to pose for a picture with her stand partner.  Apparently, all boys are now complete goobers.  Never mind this sweet young lad was one of her closest friends a mere three weeks ago.  This was her debut as the concert master of the 5th grade orchestra.}


{Yet she is very willing to pose with one of her very bestest besties…as long as she is a girl!}


{All five littles sang in the church Christmas program.  Daper Danny stayed on stage the entire time and held Super Sam’s hand which melted my heart just a bit.  Sunshine belted out the words to about a dozen different Christmas carols as well as a song in Swahili.  Girl has got some serious language skills.}


{Snow.  Total love/hate happening here.}


{When Dantisimo gets on the bus every morning the kids yell “THE LION KING IS HERE”!  And he just beams and laughs and nods his head and acts like it is perfectly reasonable that he is the main attraction on the bus.}


{Mr. P had a birthday and I had a little man who was eager to help plan some surprises.}


{During our mornings together I get a major glimpse at what this little man will be like when he is 45.  He is so theatrical and funny and precocious.  And those big brown eyes are really hard to turn down!}


{Mr. P and his peeps on his birthday night.}


{She is hands down the best snuggler in the whole wide world and back again.  Forever and ever.  amen.}


{Very grainy and not entirely flattering proof that we were kidless for three solid hours this past weekend.}


I hope you are all enjoying this season of busy-ness and telling yourselves that it is OK to let a few things go.  Dabble a little here and there but don’t worry if it doesn’t all get done to perfection.  Embrace the mediocrity friends!!!

December 18, 2013 - 3:59 pm

Phillippa - YOU are precious Jen, just as much as your precious family, yes YOU!

decking the halls.

I think I’m done decking the halls over here at the Cooper Casa.  Usually I’m going gaga for Christmas decor by mid October but I just could not get my brain into Christmas decorating mode over here.  I tried to get the kids involved to add some cheer and that ended with them all in quiet time.   Sometimes you just have to put down the tinsel and walk away. Fortunately, the spirit of Christmas eventually bit me in the butt and I got my act (and my attitude) in the right place and got ‘er done.

I will try to get my big girl camera out for a few more shots of the festivities this week…but here are a few shots I shared on Instagram of some cheery spots in our house.

The kids were excited to get the house decked out (although I kept it fairly simple this year)…and a certain little someone is VERY excited about her first American Christmas!










Now who is coming over to bake and wrap presents?  Any takers?

December 14, 2013 - 5:01 am

Kym - Just saw your new subway tiles in your kitchen via Instagram – they’re gorgeous! How’s that for spotting (without my specs too!) lol

snow much fun.

Sorry but I couldn’t resist.


We had our first big snow this weekend and the kids couldn’t get outside fast enough.


I think it is safe to say that she’s a fan.


I know you can all agree with me on the effort it takes to get kids out in the snow.  It’s exhausting.  I find it downright irritating.  I think their complaints could be scripted “It’s SOOO hot in here”.  “I can’t find my other mitten”.  “She stole my favorite scarf”.  “I have to go to the bathroom again”.  “I can’t move my arms”.  I’m sure you are expecting me to say that once they are all bundled and we are outside frolicking in the snow…it is all worth it.  But for me it’s just cold.

But I put on my big girl boots and traipsed around with them for a bit because a girl has to document all the first and this was a first for Sunshine.  A mom has got to do what a mom has got to do.


This is our daunting sledding hill in our backyard.  Is it sad that my kids actually consider this to be legitimate sledding?  Should I also point out that we are indeed the biggest hillbillies this side of the cornfields.  Why yes.  My kids ARE “sledding” on a boogie board.  Don’t yours?


When we got our dog we named her Latte because she was tan and I like Chai.  But I think we need to re-name her to marshmallow or snow bunny or blizzard.  She is almost undetectable in the yard after a big snowfall.




See what I mean.  That hill is dan.ger.ous.


Pure bliss that is the snow angel.





She kept telling me that the snow was “SO DELICIOUS!” and I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was just some dirty water.





Hope you are staying warmer than we are (negative 2 this morning!) and that your kids aren’t begging you to take them outside!

giveaway winner…

is ERIC!   “I like the Hebrew 6:19. Powerful words!”

Please send me an email and I will get you in touch with the Librarian for your art print!!!!

Thanks for all the support everyone!!  And feel free to still head over to her shop to find some goodies for Christmas!

Hope you are staying warm today wherever you are.   We got this giant snuggler delivered to our basement today…that’s where you’ll find us…snuggled up under some old granny afghans!!


December 7, 2013 - 7:27 am

Eva Medved - Love how you always make everything look so cool. And–basement? There are windows in your basement. Not quite the dark, dank basements that I grew up with. Lucky!

December 9, 2013 - 1:15 pm

hlsteen - would you mind sharing the make and model of your new couch? it looks wonderful.