In person and on this blog, I am frequently asked about how I get my kids to not run from my camera or be bothered by it. I share several tips in both SnapShop courses about this topic. I thought I would post one of those tips here today. I’ve mentioned it before – I lead by example. What I mean by this is if my kids have an idea for a photo or if they ask to take one of me I try my best to say, “yes.” This scenario played out this week while I was working on building some new tables. I thought I would share with you what it looks like with my oldest daughter….

She always wants to help me build or craft. As I was taking a few tutorial shots for a future blog post I looked across the table and she was playing with my drill. I snapped this shot:


Immediately she asked to take a photo of me. I set the camera on the opposite end of the table (it was a little heavy for her to hold). She told me to pose like this:8.14intheshot-02

When she saw the photo she took, she was frustrated it was blurry. My focal point was set to the center, which was too high to focus on me when I was squatting down. I moved the the focal point to the bottom center position while she demonstrated the next pose she wanted me to do, but with the nail gun and drill.8.14intheshot-038.14intheshot-04

Then she gave me another pose, but she didn’t want me to hold the drill.8.14intheshot-058.14intheshot-06

Finally, I asked her if we could use the timer and take one together.8.14intheshot-07

The whole thing took about 3 minutes. I was in the middle of something else when she asked, so it would have been easy to say, “in a minute” or “not right now” when she asked to use my camera. Often that is how I respond. But really….3 minutes is not a big deal. 3 minutes doing something together that was her idea and grows her love for photography. 3 minutes that help her see what I enjoy when I am the one holding the camera. I need to say “yes” more often.

flourishSnapShopsEnrollment for the final SnapShop courses of 2014 is currently open.

Click here for more information on my intro to photography online workshops.

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  • Sarah - I love these pictures! Right now I am also trying to say yes more and it is so rewarding. Thanks for the reminder and photo tip.

  • Christin - Such a wonderful tip! Thank you

  • Jamie - Love this post. Agree, 3 minutes means so much to children.

  • Ashley - Followed your blog for years… will you please tell us what you do to your hair now that you don’t straighten it as often? I am dying to quicken my morning routine and our hair looks very similar. I can’t seem to shake the straightener yet.

  • allie - I feel like the days greatest treasures are in those “3 minutes” when we choose to say “yes”. like our kids know we are in the middle of something, but instead chose to do what they wanted and they totally relish in that! thanks for encouraging us to be “yes moms”!!

  • Jenny - The pictures you take of your kids always look awesome, no matter what you all are doing! :)

  • Cassie - I love this! Great advice!

  • Jules M - I love that you did this. I love that she was patient to work through some photos until she got the camera to get what she was envisioning. Thanks for taking those 3 minutes.

  • kimberly oyler - girl you are so tan. and i love these pictures.

  • Carrie Owens - what a great reminder, I love these images :) and I love that you got one of the two of you together!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Great job, Firecracker! I really love the one of your mom at the table with her arms crossed! And the one of both of you makes me smile!

  • Christine - Wonderful tip! I’m going to try it this weekend!! Thanks!

  • Sarah - I started a 365 project when my oldest turn one, for every day that she’s a one year old. We’re a little more than half way through and for more than a month now she runs when she sees my camera come out. Most of the photos have to be done on my phone when she’s not looking, because she’ll immediately stop smiling or get out of the way if she can :(. Hopefully it’s just a phase and she’ll get excited about photography when she’s big enough to understand it like little Firecracker.

  • Ruth - You are awesome :)

  • elizabeth H - BEAUTIFULLY BEAUTIFULLY said Ashley!!

  • Zulejka - Somehow you always inspire me to be kinder, more creative and more loving to my kids. Actually, you make me want to have more of them (i have two);) I also love your decorating style!

  • Crystal - Geesh, I almost cried on this post!! :) so good.

  • Janna - Seriously…those pix are so cute I could just about cry!! (Yes I am pregnant, why do you ask?? 😉 ) Makes me really want to have my camera out more. I absolutely LOVE your blog and all the color and uniqueness about your house and life. So fun! Thank you for sharing with us!

It has been a little while since my last totally random post. I guess it must be time again because that is what I’ve got today. I think I’m having some post-travel nesting going on in me. Spray paint, chalk paint, saws, nail guns – we’ve been putting them to use.

I replaced the old hutch in my ‘fake kitchen’ in the studio with one given to me by my mom & aunt. It is so perfect. I just sit and stare at it…and re-arrange it a lot because I can’t get it to look right.


I decided to clean up the pottery corner. Let’s all look at these pictures and pretend that once a week my homeschooled kids sit at the wheel and throw beautiful coffee mugs and dishes. The reality is I forgot how to use the kiln and have not set down to watch the instructional dvd that will insure I don’t blow up my house when I fire our pinch pots. This semester it is happening. “It” being we use the wheel and kiln, not blowing up my house. The print is from Fancy That Design House.8.14random1-04

Do you remember our fabric wrapped canopy guest bed? Well, I decided to move it.  It was too tall for where I wanted it, so we had to use pipe cutters to cut off the canopy. As a result, I decided to take off the rest of the fabric and paint it green. I’m thinking I’ll keep wrapping it in lace in random spots. I also moved the globes out of my kitchen….not sure where they will actually end up.8.14random1-05

We are building 2 new tables for the studio….hopefully I will finish them today and can post more about that project later this week.8.14random1-07

“I’m bored.” Well, darling I have a solution for that….8.14random1-08

Go look at the “Bored Poster”. I found this print while roaming pinterest one night. It is from the website Modern Parents Messy Kids. You can download it here for free. I printed mine on cardstock and laminated it. It now hangs in the studio and I just point towards it when someone approaches me with the word “bored”. We started using it this week…so far so good. And on a TOTALLY random note…have you seen the Rinse and Reuse Lint Rollers from Scotch Brite? This is in no way an ad, I have no affiliation with Scotch Brite, I just feel the need to pass along this goodness. I use lint rollers quite a bit because I was conned into getting a cat a few years ago. I lint roll my cat. She likes it, I like not seeing her hair. Anyway, I picked up this reusable one at Target just to see if it would work…and it is awesome. If you need something to pick up pet hair or kid dirt…go buy one. It also works great with the “D” on our Bored Poster. I tell the kids they can go lint roll the cat or furniture for me….8.14random1-09

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  • Bonnie - I love that Bored print! And, I can’t stop laughing at lint rolling the cat!

  • Kimberly Oyler - me and my change hating self are really struggling with the globes being moved from the kitchen. if we were on IG right now I’d post the emoji with the big eyeballs and the blank stare. I’m gonna need an updated kitchen picture STAT.
    annnnnnnd I just bought a regular lint roller at target yesterday so I wish I would have known about the reusable goodness.

  • Amy Espinosa @the little farm diary - Ok, just TOO much in there to comment on!! Love the “bored” print and I’m gonna so look for that lint roller {MANY house pets here! That’s all I’m sayin’ about that….. just MANY}. I can relate to you having trouble getting your new cabinet just right. Over here, I have a three day rule- if a new “anything” makes it in its new spot for 3 days, it’s just right! Sometimes I change it around in those 3 days, other times it just doesn’t work at all! But, by day 3, I’ve totally got it figured out! Thanks for sharing your ‘random’ today!

  • Cathy - I LOVE your new hutch!! I have one similar, but no roll down top and my doors aren’t glass, I love that yours are glass! Were they original? Mine also has drawers on the bottom too. It was my great grandparents and no one claimed it, so I did, and it is a PERFECT fit for my kitchen! :) It’s all looking so good!!!

  • Alex F - Random is great! You just made me start my day with a laugh.

  • Heather - Lint-rolling the cat- I love it! And so would my kids! :)

  • Leah - Hi there! I’m digging your pottery corner! Can you tell me what kind of kiln you use?? My neighbor and I are looking to set up a studio to share in our garage and the only thing were lacking is a kiln. Would love your advice!

  • christina larsen - Love the lint roller idea. We have a lab who sheds like crazy. I was needing a new lint roller…I’ll give that one a try. Thanks!

  • Samantha // The Everyday Thoughts - Hee. I second all the “love that lint roller section” that’s happened in the comments above me. We actually do something similar in our house with the border collie– except we vacuum her. I’m pretty sure she thinks it’s a massage. (:

  • Tara S - Love your random posts. The Bored sign is awesome. And I’m definitely going to try that lint roller. I have three cats!! I also have to ask, where is your daughter’s Hello Kitty dress from? My daughter loves Hello Kitty and would love that.

  • Paige - OMGosh, lint rolling the cat! Ha ha ha!!! Would love to be a fly on the wall in the studio!

  • TheDenverPack - Haha…I think if I tried to lint roll our cat my pictures would have more blood and scratches in them. Awesome.

  • dana - i LOVE all of the changes happening around your house. I always tell my girls that you don’t have to spend a lot of money when you get that itch for “change”…start by rearranging the furniture and spray painting something! (hopefully this little tip will also make their husbands happy????). Also really love that Bored sign…i’m thinking that will work for kids of all ages!

  • Debbie C - OK, gotta try that lint roller! I don’t own a pet…but my daughter and I both have long hair and it sheds everywhere! Ha! Also, I love your green bed. It’s sometimes tricky to find the right shade of green and you nailed it. I am amazed at how quickly you update things, esp while homeschooling the kids!

  • Teresa Hodges - Have you ever taken any panoramic photos on a smart phone and if so, where can one get them printed? Thanks!

  • jenn - Could you tell me about the bed frame thing that the mattress is sitting on under the windows? I need a non-traditional bed for my youngest (he has a bed tent that we use for autism) and this would be perfect!!!

  • jenn - Your posts
    they always make me smile
    love the randomness

  • Jenny B. - Love the bored poster. Not sure what I would tell my boys to do to earn money, though. I would need to have some plans in my mind before actually posting that poster. :) Also, my reaction to the globes being removed from the kitchen was very similar to Kimberly’s. What?? Noooooo! 😉

  • Amanda - Maybe your hutch could use some books. Cookbook, craft book, kid book, any book! Or some funny shaped cooking tools. Me and my little sister collect vintage ones at flea markets!

  • jenny - oh my!! i LOVE the bored print :) i also love the bed in green. i really just love seeing your home! it is always so very inspiring. thank you for sharing your random… i enjoy it every time.

  • Jodi - I love that fabric, can you tell me the name/source? Love your blog!

  • amanda - love seeing all the fun new things happening around your house. And that new bed decor is pretty awesome. Love the lace !!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Love the bored poster! And my goodness – LOVE the green paint with the lace.

  • AshleyAnn - Kate – if you come back I’ll be sure you get a hot shower!

  • Elizabeth Highsmith - Random Comment! Could you put the tins inside the hutch and perch the plates on top of the tins so it looks like cake stands? Make sense?

  • Elizabeth Higshmith - Random thought! Could you put all of the tins inside the hutch then set the plates on top of the tins so it looks like cake stands? Love the bed and firecrackers pout! Stellar!

  • Lee - I enjoy your blog and the photos inspire me! I love it when people share about their love for Jesus too! As far as your hutch-I have a hutch too, which gets changed (and dusted!) 5 times a year or so. This is what I have learned about decorating it:1. With a white hutch you need lots of colour in the accessories, or add colour on the back panel if you want to use white dishes etc. 2. Have a high point on the top. Maybe stack some of the things higher on the side closer to the scale, like the 2 white tins on top of each other, with a smaller tin beside it. Stack some books(with or without dust covers.)3. I try the old decorating rule of odd numbers ie a shot of red on the top, in the middle shelf and on the bottom. Sorta in a triangle formation. If you need red, find it in a book, dish or a glass jar with a pretty patterned paper rolled up in it. What about one of those plates? do they have red on them ? Or red cinnamon hearts in a jar:> I’d repeat this formula with the yellow, and aqua too. All the best!

  • Susan - Love the tables! Want to build something just like that for our family room area. Did you post plans or a link to instructions? Looks like an amazing workspace! What a creative and fun place to work!

Flag football season is upon us. Chris is once again coaching. This time its our oldest’s team and a 5-6 year old time he’s coaching. Our youngest son (6) and oldest daughter (5, “FireCracker”) are playing on the same team. The morning of their first official practice, FireCracker came downstairs early in the morning in her jersey, squealing, “It’s football day!” Needless, to say after years of watching her brothers play, she is pretty pumped to get her own flag belt and ball.


Little One isn’t old enough to play on a team, but that hasn’t kept her from being in the middle of it all. The boys usually put a belt on her and hand her a ball…then they run off to practice. I’m trying to take deep breaths in regards to the balls and flags overtaking my house. Yes, they have a place they are ‘supposed’ to go. In the rush of exciting practice, rarely does the gear return to its home though. The kids help pick up all the time, but they seem to forget when it comes this time of year. So right now, I don’t mind picking up the flags and balls….it is a reminder I have healthy kids that love playing sports together. Healthy. Playing. Together. Totally worth the footballs under my feet.8.14football-028.14football-038.14football-048.14football-058.14football-07I have a feeling in two years, she’ll be holding her own on the field like her brothers and sisters before her.

***I know you will ask! Her romper is from Target last year and her headwrap is from A Little Lady Shop (she makes waterproof ones too)

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  • Jenny L. - I don’t think there is anything cuter than Little One. Her face just slays me! She doesn’t seem sad, she just seems ready. Wisdom beyond her years and an awesome family.

  • Bird - I think, she would be a trouper at this game!

    Love from Germany and the -fatcatconnection-

  • Nichole Young - That first photo of Little One is so timeless! She’s Baby Jackie O!

  • Jennifer - Seeing these pictures, my mind immediately went back to the little girl in your arms the first time in your pictures from China. What a journey God has brought her (and you) on so far. Her physical growth struck me first then the expression on her face made me smile. So many wonderful changes!

  • Kari - She is adorbs!

  • kimberly oyler - where are the flags from? just kidding! love flag football!

  • Sarah - hah~! you totally anticipated my headwrap question. 😉 girls playing football with their brothers is just about the cutest. have fun watching them!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - she is so darling. I just want to give her a huge hug!