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.


I’m betting that you have someone on your gift purchasing list that has everything.  You know that person…near and dear to your heart but you haven’t got a clue what to get them to show them you care?

How about some hand drawn artwork to brighten their day???

The Librarian (who is now actually “The Secretary” now) has been working hard like a little elf to fill her ETSY SHOP with all sorts of amazing art work.  I have seen these pieces in person (and have already claimed my own personal favorites!) and they are beautiful.  I’ve got my first piece already framed and hung up in our freshly decorated guest room!


Now to just cover the rest of the walls 🙂

I bet YOU would like to have a print or two to add to your house as well?!  Or maybe to gift to a special friend.  Or maybe you do what I do…shop for yourself, wrap it up, and put it under the tree from your husband?

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If you would like to WIN one of these art prints here are the details!

Head over to THE SHOP

Look through all of the print and decide which one is your favorite

Come back to THIS BLOG and LEAVE A COMMENT HERE telling us which one you like the best

UPDATE your FACEBOOK status with a link to your favorite print if you would like an additional entry in the giveaway (make sure to come back and leave another comment letting me know you did that!)

Stop back on Friday for the announcement on who is the LUCKY WINNER!!!

If you would like to read a bit about The Librarian’s story (She has 4 “mostly grown” homegrown “kids” and 3 Peruvian treasures) you can stop by HER BLOG!

December 3, 2013 - 11:58 am

Melissa C - I love the Psalms 37.4 word art and am purchasing today, just in case it is not available at a later date. I love this verse and something I have been praying for. It will be framed and put in the room I hope to soon be a nursery.

December 3, 2013 - 12:54 pm

Jennifer Hofeld - Love them! Pick me!

December 3, 2013 - 1:39 pm

Meredith - It’s a tie between the Psalm 91.4 piece and the Hebrews 6:19 one. You’re sister is very talented.

December 3, 2013 - 1:47 pm

Sara L - Psalm 1: 1-3 – would love this for my boys room. Love this Psalm! Also love the nest and verse Ps 62:5.

December 3, 2013 - 1:49 pm

Stephanie Wirth - They are all beautiful but my favorite is the Isaiah 41:10. This is our family verse and would love to have it hanging in our home.

December 3, 2013 - 2:59 pm

Jenn Utecht - Psalm 84:3! Love that first one 🙂

Who knew Paige is an artist!!?? I didn’t! Glad I do now!

Thanks Jenn 🙂

December 3, 2013 - 4:20 pm

kerry - Isaiah 40:8 is beautiful!! Love your blog as well!

December 3, 2013 - 4:22 pm

kerry - Updated my Facebook! 🙂

December 3, 2013 - 5:09 pm

Kim - Love love love them!!!

December 3, 2013 - 5:27 pm

Julie - LOVE the Isaiah 40:8, but it’s very hard to choose. P is so talented. 🙂 Katee really likes rainbows, so the Zephaniah one would be really fun for her room.

December 4, 2013 - 3:56 am

Doris - I like the Psalms 28.2 word art.Thanks

December 4, 2013 - 3:56 am

Eric - I like the Hebrew 6:19. Powerful words!

December 4, 2013 - 3:57 am

Mariam - I would def frame it if I win. I like the Psalm 84:3.

December 4, 2013 - 8:35 am

Kari - I love them all! But my favorite is Ps. 36:5-6
I also shared this link–great Christmas present idea!

December 4, 2013 - 9:40 am

Meredith Lind - Love all of them!!!

December 4, 2013 - 10:17 am

Courtney - Absolutely love the sparrow’s nest art. Just beautiful!

December 4, 2013 - 10:52 am

Jami Spaulding - Oh my word, they are amazing! My favorite is the Psalm 84:3 nest. So beautiful 🙂

December 4, 2013 - 10:55 am

Jami Spaulding - I put it on my status too 🙂 So cool that you both have internationally adopted kiddos!

December 4, 2013 - 9:52 pm

Christi - LOVE them all!!!

December 5, 2013 - 11:10 pm

Jayme - She did a wonderful job on all of them! I like the Isaiah 40:8 print. Beautiful.

December 6, 2013 - 9:32 am

Jennifer Hofeld - I forgot to say Psalm 62:5 is my favorite!

December 6, 2013 - 9:38 am

Ta - Psalm 62:5. Beautiful

December 6, 2013 - 10:34 am

Bobi Bobbitt - My favorite is the sparrow’s nest. Praying to have our baby bird home in our nest soon. (:

December 6, 2013 - 10:55 am

Carin Dawn - Love you girls and the creativity in the family continues to amaze me! 🙂

December 6, 2013 - 1:20 pm

Jaime S - Wow what talent!! I think my favorite is the Ps 62;5 print! Amazing!


The house is quiet.  Christmas decorations have been thrown about…kids are sleeping peacefully in bed.   It was a big week full of family and food and many memories.


There are so many things to be thankful for these days.  Sometimes I look around and wonder why God keeps lavishly pouring out on our family.  It definitely doesn’t go unnoticed.  And we definitely don’t deserve it.

This week there were a few “thanks” that topped the chart:  family time, amazing weather, good health by all, abundant food, Christmas shopping, and baby playing.  We had family in town and we settled in and just enjoyed the company.  We didn’t do anything grand.  We ate too much…watched a little of this and that…played with toys…entertained the baby.  It was the perfect mix of activity and calm.


We hosted our Thanksgiving meal and Mr. P did the majority of the cooking (he is a keeper for sure).  He works tirelessly to find meals that The Brainiac and I can eat….love that man.

We stopped our festivities in time to take a couple of obligatory photos out on the deck.   We did a bit of Black Friday and even ventured out on Thursday evening to see what all the fuss was about at Target (oh my…that was a story for another post).

{Not sure what I love the most about this photo…my awkward arms and half mast eyes, my hiding husband, or Detroyer Dan’s face???}


One of my favorite things about hosting is the decorating.  I love all the special little touches that make a holiday memorable.

This year I broke out my Grandma’s tablecloth and some beaded place mats I had on hand.  I loved the look of mismatched napkins and after pricing them out, decided to make my own.  I used fat quarters in 24 different prints and just sewed them together like a pillow cover.  They were fun and different and didn’t break the bank.  Everything else was pulled from here and there and made for a colorful and festive table.




The kids’ table held disposable turkey plates (Target) and a few things to keep their hands busy while the grown ups talked.   We had just enough room to set up an extra table in the foyer so the kids were right at hand and part of the action!




Every year as a child I got to open up a present at Thanksgiving dinner.  It was always a Christmas ornament.  When I was 18 years old and ready to head out on my own…I had a nice collection of ornaments for my own tree!  We have been doing this with our littles too!


We have so much to give THANKS about.  I’m particularly grateful for some time to sit back and enjoy our many blessings!

miss middles turn to shine.

This past weekend Miss Middle had her chance to show off her hard work on her violin!  She has really buckled down and matured so much this year.  I have been astonished by all her effort and growth!  She was really excited (and more than a little nervous) to share her gift with her friends and family.

One of the fun things about having these recitals after each Suzuki Book is the chance for the girls to chose their party theme.  They have really gotten into all the fun little details.  And it makes the day just a bit more special.

She chose the theme Glitter and Gold….so we had lots of fun finding some sparkles to add to her special day!




She performed the entire Suzuki Book 3 as well as the piece for her Christmas recital.  She did the entire program for memory with piano accompaniment from her Daddy.  And it was a smashing success!


We had chocolate cupcakes with gold sprinkles and disco ball toppers…gold plates and polka dot napkins…and little take home treats in tiny chevron bags filled with gold nuggets.




She had a nice little contingency of friends come to wish her well.


These recitals always stress me out a bit.  It is so hard to sit in the audience and watch them battle the nerves and fatigue of playing so much literature.  And I am always completely amazed by their composure and maturity.  So proud of these little budding musicians and so excited to see them enjoying the music!


Then we turned around Sunday and all four of the biggers played their violins in the Christmas recital.  It was a long program and they really all did a fantastic job.  The Brainiac played the Final Waltz from the Nutcracker.  Miss Middle played the Arabian Dance from the Nutcracker.  Sunshine played Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Super Sam played Jingle Bells.  Probably the most fun was dressing them all up in matching duds 😉  We definitely have lots of music going on here at the Cooper house!

November 27, 2013 - 9:40 am

Sarah Wolfe - Wow! That’s a lot of work for you!! I’m impressed. They all look adorable all dressed up 🙂

on 8 months home.

Eight things I’ve learned about this girl of mine since she came home in March.

1.  She is very loud.  She talks loud…eats loud…sings loud…argues loud…but she also loves loud.

2.  She is never going to stop growing.  Oh my.  She has grown through 4 sizes of clothing since coming home and we don’t see her slowing down any time soon.  So much for the “little sister”!


3.  She has the biggest, bestest smile.  It literally lights up her whole face and makes her eyes shine.  She has more gaps then teeth and seeing her smile makes me laugh out loud.

4.  She wants a family.  She has just started to tell me about her first family and she is working so hard to love and accept love.


5.  She is always hungry (see #2).  She is always asking for a snack.  I must hear her say “yummy yummy” a thousand times a day.

6.  She is the bravest child I know. (in so many ways)


7.  If it is pink, sparkly, or leopard print…she is a fan.  If it has rainbows on it…she is sold.  Her favorite color is glitter.

8.  Getting an unsolicited kiss from her melts my heart.  She is bossy and says “come here and let me kiss you”.  Always gotta be in charge 😉


We love you Sunshine!  One more month and you will have been home with us as long as you were at the Thomas Center.  You definitely add some sparkle to our lives!

November 20, 2013 - 12:59 pm

Kristin W - I do so enjoy that toothless smile. That big personality comes through, even on the blog. Sparkle away!

November 20, 2013 - 9:29 pm

Tara Quinn - She is beyond precious, praying for her journey! And your family !!!! I’m your ks friend

the dungeon.

I’ve lovingly referred to our basement guest room as the “dungeon” for awhile now.  It was just so dark and dismal down there.  It is a room that we have not really touched since we moved in almost 2 years ago.  It has great space…it’s a large room.  And it has some other great features too…especially for being a basement room…like a large window,  large closet, and built-ins.  But it was SO dark and dreary!   There were a few things that could not be changed…namely the really horrible carpet color.  But the ruined ceiling (water damage from a flood in our laundry room shortly after we moved in), brown walls, and brown trim could be swapped out for something lighter and brighter.  I hatched a plan a few weeks ago to “throw a little white paint on the walls” which turned into a much longer than anticipated project!

{These phone photos are so sad.  I really debated even sharing the before….shameful.}




The trim took three coats of paint.  The ceiling took three coats of paint.  The walls took three coats of paint.  The built-ins…yep.  Are you recognizing a trend here?  It took me 2 weeks to just get the room painted between all the coats!  I don’t think I’ve ever tackled a room where EVERY single surface required a paint job.

I started with the trim.   I taped off the carpet but not the walls.  Then I primed and painted the ceiling…then trimmed and rolled out the walls (many times).

I went with our favorite “Creamy White”.   I just couldn’t picture color down there…we needed as much light as possible!

I’m not done with the room.   I haven’t really accessorized and we will have our painter come back in the spring and spray the windows (it is too cold now!)  I so wish I could rip up the carpet (which appears even more gold in these photos) but it covers our entire basement and that is not in the non-existent budget!




I pulled in “Charlotte” who has been lonely sitting in our store room and now she has a place to stay.  The quilt was a clearance Home Goods find and the curtains are from Target.  Everything else was robbed from our store room or other spots in the house.

I have several large walls to fill and would love to add a bit more personality to the room.   Suggestions???

And a nice LARGE area rug to cover some of the carpet would be stellar too.


Love this little handmade pillow from Junk Bonanza.


My vision for the built-ins include some sort of fun/funky paper in the backs of the shelves.  But I have searched to no avail.  So who is hiding a ridiculously awesome roll of vintage wallpaper in their hall closet they want to donate to the room?




I scored this cutie little luggage rack at the antique store for $6.


The quilt is pretty yummy.


And a little spot on the desk for guests to jot a note about their (hopefully positive) stay with us!


The room has come a LONG way!

So who is coming to visit first??  Who is coming to help me finish decorating?  And better yet…who is coming to help me keep putting up the white paint in the basement?  There’s about 1200 square feet to go!

November 22, 2013 - 2:57 pm

Angel/TaDa!Creations - I love how bright and cheery you’ve made this room. And I so wish I could come down for a visit and help you paint.

November 23, 2013 - 11:06 am

ange - I just came across your blog while looking for something else and I want to come stay in this room, love the quilt, the colors, the accessories, it’s lovely!