Library days are among my favorite. We are inching ever closer to having 5 readers. It is still a little ways in the distance, but I can see it coming and it is beautiful. Before we even get out the door of the library all my kids have books in hand and are flipping pages. The drive home from the library is hands down the quietest drive my car ever knows. I think we should start making it a habit to stop by the library on the way out of town for every road trip. It just makes sense.

There are certain ‘mundane’ things I like to capture over and over again. The kids reading after a trip to the library is among one of those events. Each trip the books change a little bit. The books my kids pick reflect their personalities and interests. I treasure how they stay the same and change with each visit. Looking back at old posts (like this one) reminds me of why there is so much value in capturing the seemingly mundane moments. Great stories are written in the mundane…

85mm lens, ISO 400, 1/250, f/2.8

7.15reading-0185mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/2.87.15reading-0285mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/3.27.15reading-0385mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/3.27.15reading-0485mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/2.8 – she picked craft books and Kid Pickers…we shared her books7.15reading-0585mm lens, ISO 400, 1/125, f/2.87.15reading-06My oldest didn’t make it all the way inside. I saw him get out of the car, but I’m pretty sure he just sat down on the driveway in the shade…nose stuck in a book.

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  • Mrs.T - What a wonderful post! My grandkids love the library and their moms get them there regularly. The ones from Nevada were just out here visiting us, and I do believe I detected some library books that came along in their backpacks! Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures that do indeed tell stories of their own.

  • Maribeth - I love these pictures and the moments you captured! You make me want to paint my whole house white. You have beautiful light and shots!

  • Naomi - The book choices are as sweet as the pictures. Farm Days, Buttons, and Kid Pickers!

  • Amy @thelittlefarmdiary - We love library days too! Ours barely make it to the car and read all the way home! Love it!

  • Michelle - Little One’s reading pose is killing me! I used to read like that all the time when I was younger.

  • ashley jensen - We have sometimes stopped by the library to grab books before going out of town or camping. It definitely helps on the car ride or in our down time. I always make sure to carry a little tote to keep the books in and keep the receipt to make sure we have all of the books before returning them.

  • Paige E - My boys seem very overwhelmed when we go to the library. Any tips on helping them pick out good books?

  • Cassidy - Your oldest reminds me so much of myself… my parents still constantly say, “you can’t be comfortable there!” or “wouldn’t it be better to read over here…” – and I’m 22! I just can’t be bothered to put the book down long enough to deal with getting comfortable.

  • Juice - I love this post. What a great reminder to capture these moments for posterity.

  • Lindsay Soetaert - Llama Llama is a FAVE at our house and is read on repeat. Love this blog!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I kinda want my license plate to say Llama Mamma. Just sayin; :)

  • bethanyblntn - This is so true and such inspiring. I tend to focus on the bigger events in life but you are right, so often its the small things we will long to remember one day and what make us who we are. I will strive to learn from thins. Thank you. <3

  • Danielle - That is how our library days were also (we have since added three non readers)! My two oldest though are so quiet! I love library days! I started implementing a bring a book on every car ride just because I liked the silence while driving so much :)

  • Jenn - Last week, my four kiddos and I went to visit our great-grandmother’s home, then followed by going to the library. After minutes had passed, they all found some great findings to read. I had offered to go to the park where we could play badminton before heading home. As we packed up and drove home, the kids grabbed their books and started reading. We got home and each of them found a quiet place and dove their little noses even more. Made me smile. Still does. It was a great day :)

  • Nicole - Little One is breathtaking. The last picture of her reading. Gasp! She’s stunning.

  • Ashleigh - Love it!

    And I love the idea of getting books before a road trip!

After posting our family video here and on Instagram, I got a lot of questions about what we were cooking. Let me fill you in today!

Chris, an Eagle Scout, grew up camping. Somewhere along the way during his scouting days he learned to make what affectionately call ‘camping cobbler’. It is the easiest recipe, which makes it perfect for campfire nights. Really – it is ridiculously simple. We eat it every time we go camping. Most often we camp in cooler temps, so hot cobbler after a day outside is just so yummy. We usually eat it after the sun has gone down and we are gathered around the campfire in the dark. Food memories are apparently among our strongest and I have so many memories of different camping trips with friends, family and camping cobbler.

You need 3 ingredients:

1 can of fruit pie filling (cherry, blueberry, blackberry…whatever you like most)

1 box of yellow cake mix (you will only use 1/2 of the cake mix)

1 stick of butter (you don’t need the whole stick, about 3/4 of it)

To make the cobbler, we use a dutch oven. Dump the fruit filling in the dutch oven. Pour about half of the cake mix on top of the fruit (so it is above 3/4″ about the fruit), slice butter in thin slices and cover the top of the cake mix. Put the lid on your dutch oven, cover with coals and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the butter melted.

Sometimes the cake mix doesn’t get entirely cooked in the butter, but it is good regardless.

The photos below are by Shannon Phillips of Imago Vita Photography. I just put our fruit filling and cake mix in prettier containers for the sake of pictures. Typically, when we eat camping cobbler we are actually camping…in dirty clothes, baseball hats, and unwashed hair….this is our pretty pretend camping with dresses and doilies and mason jars of fruit!


Shannon left before the cobbler was finished and we devoured it without taking any pictures. Then you guys asked what we had made. Poor us. We had to make it again so I take one shot of the finished cobbler…

7.15cobbler-20It would be so good with ice cream too. Ice cream and camping can be a challenge, but if you can make that happen – I highly recommend it. We make this after everyone has finished with dinner and the campfire is still hot. Being married to an Eagle Scout has some pretty great perks:)

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  • Lisa - That looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    Greetings and a lovely day from Germany,


  • Southern Gal - Poor you. 😉 It looks amazing!

  • Amy - We also have cobbler every camping trip and sometimes just in the back yard. :) My husband was an Eagle Scout too. Crazy! Most camping stores have a ice cream making ball you can toss around. Perfect for your kids to make while you wait for the cobbler to finish. It doesn’t make an enormous amount of ice cream but it’s perfect with cobbler. It’s called the YayLabs! Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball.
    Fabulous pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  • Amanda - we make this all the time! our favorite is a can of diced peaches with a spice cake mix! YUM!! 😀

  • Vicki I - We make the same cobbler when we are camping and our two sons are both Eagle Scouts!!!

  • Kimberly - I would LOVE to know more about your cooking while camping ideas!
    Thanks for this follow-up post.

  • Kaytie - My husband’s an eagle scout too and his favorite thing to make while camping is cobbler! We use a big jar of peaches vs. pie filling and it’s delicious. I love that my family will have these camping food memories too! :)

  • Amy - We call this “dump cake”! We make it in the oven and “dump” two cans of fruit cocktail (or whatever fruit you want) in a 11×13 baking pan, dump the cake mix on the top and then add the butter and bake it. And we ALWAYS have it on ice cream. We will have to try it when we go camping – thanks!

  • ashley jensen - I made this a few years back using wild blackberries I picked out near the Illinois river. So so good!

  • J - The pictures where Chris is playing the guitar are cracking. me. up! The expressions on your kids’ faces are priceless.

  • Amy Cornwell - Yummy! This looks fantastic.

This past weekend my sister and brother-in-law hosted their first Backyard Gardening Workshop. I’m so proud of them. It was incredible to watch them in their element. They compliment each other in the best ways. Eric has so much knowledge and passion for gardening, perma-culture and sustainability. Lesley brings beauty, design, practical advice and wisdom on how to make your garden come alive. And she makes a killer salad. My ‘job’ was just to do whatever Lesley and Eric might need. I probably created that job because I wanted to come. Sisters do that.

The day started with donuts from Livi Lee’s. Since my ‘job’ was behind the scenes, I pretty much walked past the donut table over and over all morning. Grabbing one donut hole at a time. No shame in my donut game. I also helped decorate. That is a fancy description for ‘I loaded my car with all my random stuff and spread it around Lesley’s yard’. Thankfully, West Elm Tulsa provided a bunch of gorgeous decor to add.

So many things about the day I want to etch in my memory. The highlight was at the very beginning. Eric began with introductions and sharing their journey into gardening. As I watched the two of them I thought about how much my grandma and grandpa would have loved to hear them. My grandma would would have just sat back and watched it all, probably a bit surprised. I’m guessing my grandpa would have interrupted Eric a few times – secretly so proud of Lesley and Eric for passing down his gardening legacy. As I imagined my grandparents there, Eric began talking about his memories of watching my boys in the garden with my grandpa. And I was done. It couldn’t pay attention the rest of the day after that…back to the donut table.

I’m sure Lesley will share pictures and details for the workshop. Here are just a few phone shots I took during the day:


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  • grandma - Very proud of all of you and the joys you bring to our lives.We love you all very much

  • Jenn - such a pretty day.

  • Diana - Hahaha at making your own job to be able to go. Definitely have done that before to my sisters. It’s our job to make our own!

  • Sarah Z - Love the pictures….did you create a custom template to put all those pics together? I’d love to know how you did it…Photoshop?

  • AshleyAnn - Sarah – I re-sized the images in Photoshop. Then I opened one, copied the layer, deleted the original background layer, increased the canvas size to fit them all, moved my first image to the top left corner and just placed the rest onto the new ‘canvas’. If that makes sense! There are grid templates available from different shops, but it is pretty fast and easy to do it that way.

  • Sarah Z - Thanks for the reply…and for the step-by-step! :-) It DOES make sense. Thanks for all that you continue to share. I join the many who feel like I know you even though I only know you through your online presence. Even though I’m not a wife and don’t have kids, I have learned so much from you – about loving your Savior, family, loving on others, and being creative, to name a few!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh that is just awesome. Love it.