remember these?

 Another treasure we uncovered in the attic was the very first cabbage patch doll I ever received.  It hurt a little to admit that I got for Christmas over 25 years is that possible?   
 Hoho immediately took to him...Rodney is is given name, you know, because they all came with one, but hoho calls him Ra-ra and has slept with him ever since I washed him and magic erasered his face.
 And he is naked because...well the clothes didn't hold up as well as the doll...and I cannot believe how much a new outfit is...I'll have to be on the lookout for a good clearance deal. 
 This is the moment where hoho realized that ra-ra has a bum bum.  And he said as much.
And just for is little me maybe in '89 with my little brother and sister...with all of my cabbage patch dolls.  What?  You didn't have 30?

Remember the craze those things started?
Elmo and the Furbees have nothing on the Cabbage Patch dolls.


for siblings eric, carolyn and brian...ok, maybe not brian.

doug and i spent the weekend purging our house of unneeded and unwanted items.*  that included the attic...where i found many treasures that i will be sharing this week.  

this first one made my husband laugh out loud at me when he saw it.

let's just say that in high school i offered to sweep the gym floor to get out of participation.   and at least two of the people in my family claim this day as their favorite gym day.  i on the other hand loathed it.  but...

i say that this highly official certificate should give me some street cred with my super athletic family members.  

i mean you don't think they just hand these things out do you? 

it's signed by the PRESIDENT.  the president.  and he wouldn't lie.

at least not that one.   

*(because of some possibly EXCITING and life changing news that i can't share yet.  let's just say that i would LOVE it if you would pray for God's hand and orchestrating of it all.  but for now we wait.) 

what i wish. num 10.

Welcome to "What I wish I could tell you" anonymous platform for bloggers to share what they don't feel free to share on their own blogs.  If you have a story/thought/ache/hurt/feeling/secret/prayer request you want to get out, feel free to email me at ricracandpompoms @  You will remain anonymous to all but me unless you choose otherwise. 
The author of this entry has chosen to stay anonymous.  Say hello to anon #10: 

......I guess I don't really have to tell you this, because you ARE God, after all, but seriously-what the heck were you thinking?  Why was his sickness so drawn out, yet so short all at the same time?  What did any of us have to gain by watching him suffer in that horrible hell-hole at UVA for those three weeks?  In ten weeks time, this "Bigger than Life" man was living and then.....dying.   I KNOW you are Sovereign, Precious Father-but Why? wHy?  WHY?  Why did some feel so deeply that you were going to heal him here on earth and then did not see that come to pass?  What is it that you want from us, your broken and weary children?  Why HIM?  Why not the rapist or murderers sitting in prison?  Why my most precious Uncle who had way too many years ahead of him, with a new grand-baby and a little buddy to be a Popa to?  WHY?  I wasn't finished sitting on the porch.  I wasn't finished getting his rib cracking hugs.  I wasn't finished smelling deep his scent.  None of us were. Why?  wHy?  WHY? 
What do I say to my Aunt, who blames herself, the doctors and then herself again?  I can't argue-there's no point.  It's all  just "part of the grieving process."  BUT, what if it's not?  What if all these years of being driven by fear and anxiety, she finally caves in and believes and accepts the lies of Satan?  I want to scream at her "IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT-YOU DID ALL YOU COULD DO-CANCER SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS....."  but I can't....because I know that I need to just love her like you do--and I truly think all you want to do right now is to hold her and listen and listen and listen.....
Will these tears ever run dry?  Will the intensity of the ache in my heart, bones, even the breath I breathe-ever lessen?  How will I manage when it's my own father?  Or my own spouse or flesh and blood (GOD-take me instead!)? 
You know I am grateful for every moment ever spent with him (especially my last days, in October when I spent a week in Charlottesville)..... But you also need to know-I'm just so frustrated and broken because YOU are GOD AFTER-ALL and for UNKNOWN REASONS, you chose another road and path for him and us.  Time to show us the WHYS.  Please?  Please Dear God, PLEASE!  And while you're at it, can you take SOME of this ache away?  I hear your yoke is easy and your burden is light--must be nice.  Let me share my pain and sorrow with you.  Here ya go. 
And by the way-I still love ya Daddy God.  It's just I'm so-so-so......confused and broken.  I know you get me.  That's what makes you such a great Father!

Want a turn to share?  Email me at ricracandpompoms @ 
Feel free to comment and encourage or just relate and assure.

randomness. in no particular order.

 This is what I do 3-5 times a day.  Not counting morning coffee.  I am cold from about mid-September to mid-May.  Which wouldn't be a problem if I lived alone.  But I live with three hot bloods who sweat over anything above 68 degrees.  Three to one.  I lose.  And freeze.  So bulk donations of coffee, tea, sweaters and slippers in bulk are appreciated. :)
 Christmas came early for me.  Say hello to Ethel number two.  All of my favorite possessions are named after I love Lucy characters.  Because I am special like that. 
 This is my favorite thing about Ethel dos.  She makes pretty stitches and LETTERS!!!
 This is why I love Virginia.  It's the most beautiful state.
 This doesn't hurt...
 ...this either.
This is what I have been making...
And these too.
 And this is something that my friend Michelle's a cute little bookmark that she adds a photo and a sentiment of your choice to.  She is super sweet...probably the best mother you will ever know...she has four boys by birth and three foster children that she and her husband are hoping to adopt.  Her birth children are seriously the best boys you will ever meet...I would love for my boys to grow up with traits like theirs.  Their three foster children are all special needs who require lots of extra care...and I can't imagine a better place for them to be in order to ensure their ability to thrive.

All that to say Michelle is wonderful.  And I have made it my mission to overwhelm her with love this week.  She is new to Etsy so I know she would LOVE some sales. :)
You can check out her shop HERE.  She has several cute things besides the bookmarks...And to give you a little incentive to help me overwhelm her I will give you $5 shop credit (to my shop)for each purchase you make from her shop. :) Just email me a copy of your receipt. :)   

Hope your day is happy and that your weekend is lovely.
Go find someone to overwhelm with love this week! :)

not Christmas card photos.

 I'm just going to warn might find this post really boring unless 1) you are related to me (and it still may bore you) 2) you think my kids are really cute or 3) you just really like me. :)

A few weeks ago when we went to Blacksburg we met up with our personal family photographer, Jeremy.  Jeremy has photographed nearly every important event in my graduation, engagement, marriage, birth of Moses and family portraits.  Then we moved.  And we haven't had a family photo since that didn't involve a tripod.  So nearly a year ago I asked Jeremy if he could work a family session into his busy schedule...busy because Enigma, the photography business he co-owns, was recently voted number one wedding photographer in Virgina by The Knot.  So we went back and forth for a while to get together...between his schedule and was tough.  We finally nailed down a date in October...and I was giddy.  October in Virginia was gorgeous.  Seventy degree days full of sunshine and wonderful Indian summer weather.  Except the day that we had photos taken.  It was cold.  It was rainy.  It was wet.  It was windy.  Pretty much the worst day in October.  

To keep my heart from breaking we all tried to make the best of it while we were there...and have since rescheduled for the Spring or Summer.  Despite the terrible weather Jeremy got some shots that I will surely treasure forever...I'm sharing some of my least the ones that didn't make the cut for Christmas cards. :)  Enjoy!  Family members...if there are some you would like to see in a frame for Christmas just let me know. :)         

You can check out (and HIRE) Jeremy over at his website Enigma.
I promise that you won't find a better all around awesome photographer.

And my favorite part of Enigma...besides Jeremy and that they GIVE you all of your photos...on a print and use AS YOU WISH! :) No more photographers being limited with how many prints and only getting certain ones...they are ALL yours and they are ALL awesome! :)
Simply the best!


thankful num 2.

Today's T.O.P recipient is...

Holly.  Holly I. is one of the first customers on Etsy that I remember forming a longstanding relationship with.  If you have an etsy shop you should be hoping and praying for customers just like Holly.  And I am not only thankful for her because she is such a long standing and faithful customer...but she goes so far above and beyond when it comes to praising and loving my work and she does just the same in being my friend.  

I'm thankful for all she does beyond being a great patron.  She has a knack for sending me a text or note in the mail or email or Facebook message at just the right time that I need a little encouragement.  She is a super cheerleader.  Everyone needs a friend like Holly.  She makes me want to be a better her and all my friends.   

I truly believe that I have her to thank for so much of the success I have had on Etsy...she gives great feedback on products...inspires ideas and has helped me fix an oops here and there in way that makes me not feel like an idiot.  She is patient and understanding about deadlines.  She communicates thoroughly.  She is a dream patron.  She makes me want to run my business even better.
So Holly...thank you for being lovely.  For being patient and kind and ever so sweet.  I am thankful for your encouragement and for believing in me. :) If I have no other reason to be thankful for starting a business...I can at least be thankful that it brought you into my life. :) 

You make me lovelier just by being you. :)


Now hop on over to No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane to see all the other T.O.P.'s.

what i wish. num 9.

Welcome to "What I wish I could tell you" anonymous platform for bloggers to share what they don't feel free to share on their own blogs.  If you have a story/thought/ache/hurt/feeling/secret/prayer request you want to get out, feel free to email me at ricracandpompoms @  You will remain anonymous to all but me unless you choose otherwise. 
The author of this entry has chosen to stay anonymous.  Say hello to anon #9: 

What I wish I could tell you ...  is that the biggest hurt in my life right now is that we have been trying unsuccessfully for over a year to get pregnant.  I wish you could know that the biggest desire of my heart is to be a mother and to experience an element of love that I can only imagine right now, and to think that God does not have this desire for my life is a pain beyond expression.  I wish that in saying this, SOMEONE would know how I feel and share honest emotions with me.  I know that I am not alone, but I am alone in my circle of relationships.

Would you tell me that God still has the best in mind for me?  Would you tell me that His love is all that I need?  Would you tell me that I can find my only true source of satisfaction in life in HIM?  These things are true, and I know them, but I somehow have not been able to let them penetrate my soul in a way that takes away the pain.

I wish I could tell you that your comments, while well-meaning (I hope), just drive a little dagger into my heart.  When you ask just how long we're going to wait to start a family, or if we EVER want to have kids, or say things like, "you'll understand when you're a mother" ... these things hurt.

I wish I could tell you that every baby shower or birthday party I go to, every picture of your precious baby, every glowing report of the next milestone they have passed, while I truly AM happy for you ... if I was honest ... I'm also a little jealous.  And I seriously wish that that wasn't true, but I am human.

I just wish that this didn't cause me embarrassment.  That I could let everyone around me know of the pain in my heart without feeling drowned in pity.  I wish that I could say it straight when the topic comes up, rather than inching around the truth to try and appear normal when I feel anything but.  I thank God for my loving, understanding husband, but how would my life be different if I could tell you this?


Want a turn to share?  Email me at ricracandpompoms @ 
Feel free to comment and encourage or just relate and assure.

fashionably lame?

 These are my current favorite shoes.  I know, I know, I am so fashionably brave. 
Putting myself out there with these rule breaking gray flats.  
But I love them.  
They go with everything and they are comfy.
 I sometimes wear them with socks.  
And I have no idea if people are making fun of me behind my back when they see this. 

What do you think?  Am I committing a fashion no-no?

Probably won't stop me from doing it...but it would be interesting to know.


what i wish. num 8.

Welcome to "What I wish I could tell you" anonymous platform for bloggers to share what they don't feel free to share on their own blogs.  If you have a story/thought/ache/hurt/feeling/secret/prayer request you want to get out, feel free to email me at ricracandpompoms @  You will remain anonymous to all but me unless you choose otherwise. 
The author of this entry has chosen to stay anonymous.  Say hello to anon #8: 

I wish I could tell you...that everything is okay.  That I'm fine.  That I've never been better.  That my marriage is incredible and as strong as ever.  I wish I could say that our life is not what we expected but we love it anyway.  I wish I could tell the man I married that after you moved out, I didn't cry.  That I didn't go over the last few years of our life and wish I could change something...anything.   That even after 3 months, the pain still stings like the first time you said you didn't love me and it wasn't worth it.  I wish I could say that you tried these past few years to make our marriage stronger.  I wish I could say you were honest with me and yourself.  That you searched to make a better home life for our family and that our interest was the first on your list of priorities.  I wish I could tell everyone that my husband is kind, generous, thoughtful, strong in his relationship with God and is the most amazing father to 2 beautiful children.  But I can not.  I wish I could tell the man I married 7 years ago that he is making the biggest mistake of his life.  I wish I could tell him ,again, that marriage is never easy for anyone, not anyone...not even that adorable couple who sits a few pews in front of us at church week after week.  That no ones marriage is perfect and without trial.  That the commitment we made didn't just include times of sunshine and birds singing, but the dark and stormy times as well.  No matter how long those storms may last.  That if we stuck out the many storms of life together, we'd be made stronger.  I wish I could tell you that he is strong and courageous, that he is the same man I married on that beautiful day in June.  I wish I could tell him that if we stand strong for ourselves and for our children, that we will be made better...not only for ourselves, but for each other.   That our love for one another would be made stronger and indestructible.  I wish I could tell him that he is losing the most precious of all gifts for a sheer moment of gratification.  That he is missing out on time with our children, who are not promised to us in this life forever.  That each moment he is gone is another day lost.  Another smile unobserved, kiss good-night lost, bedtime story unfinished and many "firsts", unseen.  I wish I could tell him that our children will not be affected by his decision to leave.  That they won't harbor harsh feelings of resentment to his decision for personal fulfillment.  But I can not.  No one can.  

More than anything, I wish I could tell much he is missed.  How much he is loved.  Even after the torment these last few months and years have been.  That love doesn't just leave.  That I gave my all and I would continue to give it...if he wanted it too.  But I will tell you all, that my life has meaning.  That I am strong.  That my Heavenly Father has sent me here with a purpose and that I want to continue to find it and live it.  That my children will be blessed because I will try to give them what they truly deserve.  I will continue to fight and find my way.  Make myself better not only for myself, but for my family.  That I will continue the fight forward.  That my life will go on and I will make the best of this terrible thing that has occurred.  I don't know how long I will grieve...I gave my life and heart to a man, not just for this life, but for eternity.  I committed not only in thought and in word...but in my heart too.  This makes for a difficult  recovery, but it can be done.  If I have faith in God and in His plan for me, he will mend my broken heart and see the intents of my heart.  He will make my family whole again. Somehow.  That once this horrible storm settles, there will be beautiful rainbow.  I pray I have the strength and courage to see it, to see my children and to see myself the way my Heavenly Father sees me. 

Want a turn to share?  Email me at ricracandpompoms @ 
Feel free to comment and encourage or just relate and assure.

i am not a baby person.

My name is Crystal and I don't like babies. 

OK, maybe that's a little too harsh.  I like babies but not enough to have another.  I have no plans to have another.  I don't want another.  I don't need another.  And I am OK with that.  

So why do I get a dirty look when I tell people this?  Like there is something wrong with me only having two little boys in my life.  They don't NEED a sister as some people claim.    
I don't need to have a Miriam to round out my mini-herd.  It doesn't help that more of my "two kids" friends than I can count have announced that they are pregnant with number three.

The basis for our decision to only have two?  We feel it.  If God wants us to have more He has not communicated this to us.  And you know what? We are completely happy and content with that.

Here are my completely selfish reasons for being thankful that I no longer have "babies" and why we only want two children.  

I like sleep.  Babies like to deprive you of this.
I like communication.  Babies are terrible at verbal communication. 
I like to travel with (relative) ease.  Babies are terrible travel companions.
I hate carrying a diaper bag.  And buying diapers.
We like not being out numbered.   And I don't want a bigger car.
We want to pay for college for each of the boys.  This gets harder with each child we add.

And the biggest reason?
The older my boys get the better of a mother I feel like I can be to them.  I love babies but I don't feel like I can give them my best work.  I don't do my best on four hours of sleep.  I like to be able to say "What's wrong?" and have real words come back to me. 

With every day that my kids get older I feel more and more competent in the mommy field. 
Don't get me wrong...I loved the baby stage...or at least most of it.  Tiny baby parts, quiet late night feedings...the smell of a baby...the sweet coos and squishy baby legs.  All great things.  We don't regret the late nights or the diaper changes or changes to our schedule to accommodate naps.  We loved and love our babies.  But it is OK for us to stop here. 

Two and we are through.
Please tell me that we are not the only ones?

making Christmas.

 I don't know what it says about me to be well into making Christmas crafts this early in November...but I will assume that it's good things.  There is nothing like Christmas time to get me digging into craft supplies that are non fabric...fimo among them. 
 These sugary sweet snowmen took on a life of their own as I made them...each has it's own little personality and charm...lots of glitter and sparkly and tinsel.
 They are all nestled in the shop...waiting for a new home.  And they are one of those things that you make and kinda hope no one buys...because then they could all live on my tree. 
 I'll be making a few more...but not many so if you really, really want one...I would grab one soon.  You pay for the priority shipping on the first one and the rest ship free.   
 I also made up a handful of one of my best all time sellers...just slip your own photo into the vinyl pocket and you have your very own personalized keepsake. 
These make great gifts for grandma's, teachers, moms...anyone who love to see your cuties face. 
And for just a bit more you can order some that are personalized with the name of your choice...I will be taking a limited number of orders for if you know you would like one contact me soon!

You can find all of these goodies over at the SHOP! 

I've also posted the KIX winner!  Click over on "Free Stuff Here" to find out if it's you!

why and how.

 Recently a friend basically asked me why I believe what I believe.  And how she could get from point A to point B in her beliefs.  And essentially how to get out of her own way in the matter and let God be God. 

Can we say "oh my gosh how do I answer this question and bring the glory and honor to God that He so lovingly deserves?  How can I say the right things that she needs to hear...that God wants her to hear...How can I, at the end of this conversation, leave her wanting more of Him and not less?  How do I get out of the way and let God shine through?" 

So I told her I would get back to her.  And I prayed.  And I'm still praying honestly.  I thought I would document it here...because when I am finally a sweet old lady who weeps at the name of Jesus I want to see how far I've come.

Here is what I shared with her:
Keep in mind that I am sinner.  Just like everyone else.  I do not pretend to believe that I understand or know it all.  I am still learning and growing and changing.  God is not done with me yet.
That being said here is what I know, that I know, that I know to be true. 
God is good.  Always.
God is right.  Always.
God is just.  Always.

The Bible IS the inspired word of God.  
It is not written by man.  
 Men may have transcribed it, but God laid it on their hearts word for word.  
Every word in the Bible is true.  The standards it set have not changed. 

God is constant in what He says is good.  
Society changes "good" based on what makes the most people happy.

Customs of the time change.  People change.  The Earth changes. 
God stays the same.

 I don't know that I can explain how I got from point A: (a sinner lost in sin without hope in sight) to point B: (a sinner repenting of sin daily, holding fast to the Hope that is in Christ). 

I can tell you that if you seek Him, He will answer.  It may not be in your timing but it will be the right timing.  We are a people who want it NOW and to be in control.  God does not care about any of that.  He has nothing to prove to us.  His love has already been shown through the sacrifice of His one and only Son. 

I know that I have had to seek Him purposefully.  As with any relationship, no fruit will come of it if you don't do the work.  And I have had to work.  I read the Bible out of duty for a good ten years until I got to the point where I did it out of joy and love and wanting to be the way He wants me to be.  I read for years because it was the right thing to do...and I believe that God blesses me because of it.  Before if I missed a day I would feel it makes me sad because I missed an opportunity to hear Him.

It has taken me just as long to really feel like I have a relationship with Him.  Don't hear me wrong now...He has always been there.  It's been me who has had to change, to drop MY expectations, to learn to humble myself before Him, to stop demanding and starting digging in.  To allow Him.  Period.   

I know that any "contradiction" you find in the Bible can be disproved through understanding the context and the language.  You can find scripture to support any sinful cause you want if you ignore context and use of language.

I believe that the Bible most certainly applies to us TODAY.  We are no different than the grumbling newly freed slaves...who turned their heads and immediately forgot what God had just done for them.  

I do believe that Jesus changed history.  I believe that without Him we were and are all doomed.  I believe that He was the one and only perfect sacrifice.  I believe that to take Him as your savior and pick and choose the rest is cheating yourself out of what God wants for you.  He doesn't just want you to believe.  He wants you to believe and FOLLOW.  
It would be like accepting a gift but never ever opening it.  
Jesus has an stance about being lukewarm.  

I don't believe in staying quiet about what is right because it is unpopular.  
This does not mean being judgmental.  This means lovingly encouraging one another down the path that God says is right.      

I don't think being a Christian is meant to be or should be easy.  
 I don't believe that we are supposed to understand a fraction of what this world is about.  

I believe that the point of life is to seek God and enjoy Him.  And that is it. 

I know that I don't want to serve a God that I can understand.   

I believe that Satan is real and really good at what he does. 
I believe that Hell is real. 
I believe that sin is not taken seriously enough.

I am TIRED of being told to be quiet because my opinion is unpopular.  I am tired of being told that because I don't accept what society says is OK that I am hateful.  
I believe that you can love the sinner and hate the sin because I know this first hand.  
I hate my own sin and yet still love myself. 

I believe that God will never give up on you...even when you give up.  

I believe that Jesus is coming back again and I believe that He is the only judge.  And on the day He comes back...EVERY knee will bow and every tongue will confess.  There will be wailing and pain and righting of wrongs.  There will be justice for every hurt. 

I believe that God is no where near done with me.  And I am SO thankful.  My prayer is to be one of those little old ladies who weep at the sound of His name. 

I believe that God is the first uncaused Cause. 

I know that the Bible is full of Truth.  And that it is all true. 

I believe that not believing because we don't understand is sinful pride and shows lack of Faith. 

It's all about Faith.

I've had to pray when I couldn't hear Him.
I've had to believe when I couldn't see His hand.
I've had to trust when I didn't understand.
I've had to put in the hours when I didn't want to or didn't immediately benefit. (imagine that!)
I have had to keep at it. 

Sometimes I have had to pray for the "want to want to". 

I've been angry at God.  
I have sobbed with Him.  
I have prayed over and over for my heart to break over what breaks His. 
I love Him more than anything.

I know that if I am never given another blessing that I will never cease to praise His name because He has already given me more than I could have ever earned or deserved. 

I love Jesus.  It's a simple and as complicated as that. 

20 minute crafter. 10 minute pillowcase.

Are you ready for another?  I think anyone would like a pair of custom made pillow students, your mom, your daughter...anyone...ENDless possibilities with any number of gorgeous fabric combos...
 Here's what we are making...and it takes about ten minutes per case.  EASY. 
 You will need two pieces of fabric:
a) trim piece 12 by 42in
b) main piece 24 by 42in

Fold the 12in piece in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) 
and line it up with the 42in side of the main piece...
 Stitch the folded piece to the main piece...right side of b will be facing a.   
When you get the end...fold a back and stitch down the seam...
 ...all the way to the end... this see?
 Fold the whole thing in half...and starting with the corner next to the fold (side one) around the edges of side two and side three...don't forget to leave the 4th side open. :)
 You're done!
This one was made for my hoho.  And he loved it! :)

I think a cute custom pair would make a great could also give them with a fluffy new pillow. 

Have fun!  I will answer any questions in the comments. 

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