About Me

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I am a Christian. I am a loving wife to my Army-National-Guard-Recruiter-Husband of 15 years. I am a stay-at-home-mother to our four handsome sons. I am a photographer. My blog is about as erratic, eclectic and random as I am, painted with rainbows of photos and words that are hills and valleys you travel; so lovely sometimes that they hurt you. These are the stories of how far we've come in the last 15 years as Christians, as a family and as individuals.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Growing up my mother made sure to make holidays special no matter what.  I remember always having the sense that something big was happening and that I'd remember it always because she'd make sure we'd do something memorable.  It is only now that I am a mother that I fully understand what Soloman meant when he said to "train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." I'm grateful that my upbringing planted firm roots for me.  However, now it's my turn to be the mom and I fear I'm failing to do the same.

It's less than an hour from a new year.  Now is the time for many people to share their resolutions for the year to come.  Most of them believe "promises are made to be broken" yet they make a promise to themselves knowing they will fail to see it through.  I am not one of these people.  The first year I decided to set a New Year's Resolution I saw it through to the end of the year and there are no words to express the pure delight that came to me as that realization set in!  Every year since then, I've made promises to myself on New Year's Eve (some I share and others I keep private) and have not failed myself once!  It's amazing that when you first commit to the Lord whatever your plans, you will succeed.  This eve finds me praying for God's councel and guidance as I make yet another declaration, this one for the first year of a new decade!

Most thoughtful & unexpected

Shortly after my birth in Texas my family moved to Minden, La where I lived until I was thirteen.  During my time in Louisiana I met many wonderful people, one of whom lived accross the street from one of the many houses in which we lived.  We became close over those three or four years.  My family's move back to Texas came very suddenly and I was unable to say goodbye to all of my friends, Delana was one of them.  Now, I was very young for my age in many ways and did not have the luxury of the internet to keep in touch easily with the friends I left behind.

Seventeen years and many moves later a road trip took me back to that small town in Louisiana.  It was there I ran into Delana again and we vowed to keep in touch this time!  I figured that would be easy what with home phones, cell phones, fax machines, texts, blogspot, myspace, facebook, email, twitter, you name it!  I didn't realize Delana wasn't a fan of internet communication!  Over the past two and a half years she's kept her end of the bargain much better than I, constantly sending me letters and pictures in the mail (you remember mail?  paper, pen, envelope, stamps!) and calling me on random occasions for casual reasons.  The best I did was answer the phone!  Sure, I was always happy to hear from her and two or three times I managed to write her back but I've often felt I'm not being the best friend to her that I can.  Yesterday, that fear was confirmed when I opened my mailbox to find a pair of diamond stud earrings from my dear sweet friend, Delana. 

One of those previously mentioned phone calls found me expressing my long-lasting desire for a pair of tiny diamond studs that I could wear day and night since I don't often change my ear accessories that would go with everything whether I was dressed up or not.   How sweet of her to have taken it upon herself to remedy my desire.  Delana, I vow now to the world (or whoever reads these things) that I will be the kind of friend to you that you deserve from this moment on.  You've been wonderful and I've taken advantage of your kindness, but no more!  I love you and thank you for caring for me so that after all those years and an impropper goodbye (or no goodbye at all really) you still held me in your heart.  I call myself blessed that the Lord has seen fit to give me friends like you in my life!

Aren't these beautiful?
I think they look great in my ears!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Concert Videos

December 15, 2009 Tristen & Seth played in their first ever Christmas Concert! They've played in a recital before but this was different and for a much larger group. Not only did they play guitars (the instrument they're learning in this class) but as a special treat they learned a few songs on bells! Enjoy:



I'm so proud of my little entertainers!
Oh... for fun! I captured Hayden dancing to his favorite Christmas song; Hillary Duff's remake of Wonderful Christmastime... these are his "moves"

What a riot!!! Merry CHRISTmas everyone!

The Big Suprize!

I let my Mom think all I made her for Christmas was a bookmark... but her's & Jim's real gift was this Grandchildren's Quilt!

I couldn't make the quilt and have it ready to give when I went to Texas and divied out homemade gifts to everyone because little Ryder had to be on it!

Ever since Mom & I saw Stepmom (with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon), I've wanted to make a quilt of photos. Christmas 2008 I received a sewing machine from my mom and I promised her I'd make a quilt of her grandkids for her, well, sorry it took me a year but now all SEVEN of your grandkids are on it!

I mailed it to Michigan where Mom & Jim are spending Christmas (and the next few months) together. Christmas Day I got the tear-filled call thanking me for the treasured item, I'm so glad it made it in time, it was a bit of a rush job, but I think it turned out nicely!

I love making and giving gifts from the heart that are so perfectly fit for the receiver!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 2009

I've been SOOO busy! On December 5th I flew to Texas to be with Bonnie for the birth of her first child scheduled for a C-Section on December 8. April had gumbo ready when we got in from the airport *YUM*. Everyone was there, Bonnie, Jimi, Mom, April, Adam, Lily, Liberty and ME! I couldn't wait so after dinner I handed out everyone's Christmas gifts I'd made for them, they all loved everything! That made me so happy!

We all went to bed late and had plans to go to another showing of New Moon & do a maternity photoshoot Sunday but *surprise* Bonnie's water broke instead so we all went to the hospital to await the arrival of Ryder Wayne Crankshaw 2 days early! Good thing I got this photo of Bonnie's belly in front of the tree lights!

Bonnie looks scared and worried, Jimi looks excited! LOL!

Welcome Baby! December 6, 2009 @ 8:57 AM 6 pounds, 6 ounces, 18 inches long:
Ryder Wayne Crankshaw!

We were in the hospital with Bonnie & Ryder until Thursday and since I had to head back to California Saturday, we made sure not to miss the opportunity to do a photoshoot before I had to go! Enjoy:

(the hat says "Rough Rider") AWE!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

All the items I made! - Homemade Christmas in Texas

My soon-to-be brother-in-law, Adam, has taken a job with the same company that Jim (father) and Jimi (b-i-l) work for and they're sending him overseas next year (probably March/April) and he's never been away from his baby girls so I made him a pillow to hug and kiss goodnight in their stead. It is double-sided, has Lillian on one side and Liberty on the other in cartoon-ized photos for a more childlike effect.
(To get a better idea of the actual size, the photos are 8 x 10)

Bonnie and Jimi have done their son's room in cowboy denim, red bandana and chocolate brown corduroy so I made a reversible bib and burp cloth to match!

I also made carseat strap covers to protect the baby's tiny neck & a carseat carrier handle cusion to protect the new Mom & Dad's arm.
This is a double-sided pillow for baby Crankshaw with Daddy on one side and Mommy on the other since his Daddy too works all over and won't be able to be there every day.
(To get a better idea of the actual size, the photos are 5 x 7)

The very first wearable item I've ever made, ever!
(With no help from my mother AND without a pattern - although the
capelets were my friend, Avi's design, thanks for sharing Avi!)
Fleece Capelets and matching bags for my girls: Lily-Pad & Libby-Bee
These pleated skirts were a figment of my imagination until I put the fabric and thread together with my machine!
(Libby's is made of one "quilted" fabric with smaller pleats & Lily's pleats are larger and made of a striped fabric to offset the paisly)
Since their Daddy has a pillow of them to hug & kiss goodnight when he misses them, I figured I'd make little "Daddy Action Figure" pillows with matching blankets for the girls to have. Afterall, Adam is their hero!
(To get a better idea of the actual size, the photos were printed on 8 x 10 fabric then silhouetted)
April asked for a plain T-shirt with "Edward can bite my pillow, bust my headboard & bruise my body anyday!" written in puffy paint (yeah, right) so I did one better by rocking out a plain T-shirt and ironing on a photo of Edward Cullen (from Twilight, duh) with the saying typed on.
Then, since a shirt can only be worn once in between washes, I made this purse that she can carry with her daily sporting her Edward and that saying. The bag has a photo on each side and is lined with the surrounding fabric.
Bonnie got a new Canon Rebel for her birthday so I made her a sassy camera strap cover (since I know that with the new baby she'll rub her neck raw with the strap!)
Of course, Bonnie is a Twilight fan too and I couldn't very well give April a purse and not Bonnie! I've been made aware that Bonnie is fairly "green" these days so I decided to recycle some torn and ruined blue jeans of my boy's to make her purse. The straps are made of the waistband, the sides and lining are made of the leg material and I added a back pocket to the inside for a cell phone or keys. (Sorry yours doesn't have a pocket April, it was the first one I made, no pattern, so I added embelishments as I made more)
Bonnie is a "Team Edward" and a bit quirky with wordplay so the quote on her bag is "I like my men hard, cold & sparkling" and I added iron-on sparkles to his face and body.
Bonnie has never been very big on traditional baby stuff so I made some one-of-a-kind matching bibs and burp cloths that I know she and Jimi will feel comfortable having their little dude fashion.
My Grandmother has been faithful to my Granddaddy since the day they met, even after his death, he has been "Always in her heart" so I made a pillow of her life's love to keep her company on those lonely nights.
My humble mother has been in on most of my makings (although she hasn't seen most) and asked only for a simple bookmark since she's been reading a lot lately. We are a Tilight-loving family and I know she's an Edward-lover as well so I made this book mark for her.

There's a big surprize to come but that's all for now!