Thank you for your comments early this week about our new puppy addition. It was good to read the wise words of those of you that have had beagles. Basically, the consensus is beagles aren’t the brightest, they are easily distracted but they are really wonderful with kids. So far we know she is great with kids and easily distracted!
10.14arley-0110.14arley-0210.14arley-03So in the last week with our puppy Arley, I’ve learned one big lesson – puppies are IMPOSSIBLE to photograph unless they are sleeping. I can predict the movements of my kids. I don’t chase my kids with a camera, I usually can wait and anticipate what I want to photograph. Not with Arley. She goes 110% and then crashes randomly somewhere. If I think she is going to chase a boy, she goes after a girl. If I try to get a low angle, she tries to lick my lens. But she can nap with the best of them, so it looks like lots of napping puppy pictures are in my future. Or a really wet lens.


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  • Southern Gal - Oh, how precious she is! We had a beagle, Annie Rose, for over 11 years. She was my son’s 7th birthday present. She was the sweetest dog. I know Arley will bring much joy to your household and lots of smiles to those faces!

  • Ilse - Awww, so sweet. I really love beagles, looking forward to a lot more napping pictures!

  • Julie Moore - Do you know about #theoandbeau from @mamasgonecity on Instagram? It’s a whole series of her son sleeping with their puppy – in fact I think she’s turning it into a book! I’m guessing she had the same problem when they first got him ????

  • Susan - Ashley, Our Jethro is four and he is still hard to photograph! Devin has been able to get a few good ones when they go walking, but most of ours are still with a sleeping beagle!

  • Suzanne - So I made the mistake of showing my 3 boys the picture of Arley. Huge mistake because now they all think we need a playmate for Ruby, our beagle/border collie. And somehow, someone told about 3 baby beagles at our local shelter whose mother was killed by a car. Do you think I am getting any rest? Oh no……please is a constant word/song in this loud, crazy house of mine. Trying to think of another distraction but I am such a sucker for those adorable puppy moves,etc. As my mom told me, every family needs at least one animal around!!

  • Janice - LOL I have a lot of extreme closeups of my dog’s nose from when he was a puppy!

  • Christine {Pure Joy} - Guineas pigs are the same way — they won’t stay still for more than 10 seconds. Gotta be fast!

  • Renee Johnson - Keep the cute puppy photos coming! Arly brightens up my mornings :)

  • Michelle Hill - Your family is overflowing with cuteness!! I absolutely love close up photos of puppies and their little noses :)

  • Emily - I think Beagles are very smart! I do agree that they need stimulated, but a great job for your boys to teach obedience and work with her! There are many activities they can do to help her scratch that instinctual tracking itch. I have never owned one myself, but I have worked with animals all throughout my college and adult life. They do have the most annoying bark of all the dogs, though!!! But oh… they are the cutest puppies and are the most loyal to their kiddos! Arly is adorable and Im sure she will be a great addition to your clan!

  • Butterfly Mama - I have been toying with the idea of getting my son a beagle pup! Is Artley a full size beagle? Ive been eyeing a breed they call ‘pocket beagle’. Your sweet pup seems smaller then usual beagle pup. Congrats!

  • Kimberly Oyler - I would like to see some pictures of you chasing the puppy around please.

  • Bernadette - In my experience with our beagle, she was the smartest dog that we have had in the family. That dog knew so many words and could follow instructions such as if she would get tangled in her leash/lead around a tree or pole, we simply said go around and she would figure how to get herself unstuck. She always was a tracker but was well trained to “leave it” if told. As far as the howling/bark, she didn’t to that until my brother taught her how she should sound but before that it was regular barking – yeah I still owe him for that. We had her from puppy until she was 17 years and had to say goodbye. Still miss her to this day. Have fun with Arley. Treasure these bonding times of a family and a dog.

  • Kristin - Oh goodness, Ashley. She’s adorable! I grew up with beagles & there is hardly anything cuter than a beagle puppy. I tend to disagree about the smart-factor… Of course each animal is different just like people are so different, but for the most part, ours were very smart – which also made them very stubborn at times. So training is key – and lots of love & playtime (which I’m sure she’ll never suffer for). Congrats on your new baby. Looking forward to all the new, fun posts ahead. xo

  • candice - We also got a puppy last week, a hound mix. We rescued her from a local shelter. I am so encouraged by your blog. Really, thank you

  • O'Neill - These are GREAT pictures!!! She is most definitely the cutest puppy I have ever seen. Enjoy!

  • Megan - Love the puppy pics!!! I just wish I could smell that puppy smell through the computer. :) She’s so cute. Our beagle is very smart, but dopey at the same time if that makes sense?!! Like smart when he needs to be but very dopey and happy and good to go as long as we’re there for him to sit/lean against. A great porch dog for sure too!! Very loyal, but very much a slave to his nose! From what we know a nice walk and daily attention are the key, so I’m guessing the playing w/ your kids will kill those two birds with one stone. :) Enjoy!!!

  • Lisa - The are runners when they catch a scent. She is sweet.

  • Kim Gordon - Ah- Arley has fooled you!
    We have a beagle, too. Molly was a puppy for the first, oh, seven years of her life. At twelve, she is finally slowing down. It it true that beagles are great with kids. And yes, beagles are easily distracted. If Molly is going one way and catches the scent of something else, she automatically changes gears. But… beagles are much smarter than we give them credit for! Molly had us fooled in the beginning. She had us thinking she wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. However, when we get out a treat, she suddenly remembers everything we’ve ever taught her. Sit, roll over, shake hands, etc. When we don’t have food for her, she remembers nothing. So, when Arley has you thinking she isn’t so bright, get out a treat and she will blow you away with her brilliance!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Why do puppies make me so dang happy? So awesome!

  • Maria - I have a labrador, not a beagle, but my camera is also filled with “outtakes”.

    On a good day I’ll get her to look like this: But for every photo like that, I will have about ten that look more like this and this

    Basically, welcome to the family of owners of dogs who won’t stay still! =)

  • Nancy - “a really wet lens.”
    You’re funny sweet thing!

  • Kaitlyn - Haha, this is so cute! I know there are only a handful of pictures of my pup Lola from our first few weeks with her, and she’s sleeping in all of them. Try using a treat as a bribe to get her to stay still, as you teach her stay and sit she’ll become easier to photograph. Start training early! I know a lot of people wait (we did) but then I regretted it. You can put puppies as young as a couple months into training and it helps tremendously with their socialization. Good luck with her! She’s adorable. :)

  • Lorna - Hello :) I’d recommend teaching puppy to wait/stay as soon as possible, obviously it’s useful for lots of behavioural reasons but I’ve also found it makes taking photos a lot easier because you can tell them to stay when they’re in a particularly good position/light etc. it might not be the most natural pose because they’re looking at you but I’ve got some lovely photos this way :)

  • Debbie - Unless you got a dud, beagles are wicked smart! By the time Camper went to puppy school he knew: sit, down, stay, come, roll over and he was potty trained. That was by 16 weeks. :) good luck and enjoy every minute!

  • AshleyAnn - Debbie – I want to change our dog’s name to Camper now! Such a great name. So far Arley seems pretty smart too…and sneaky!

My friend Shannon gifted me with a super cute quilt top frame last year. You can find her post with more information and examples by clicking here. Shannon and I are a part of the same homeschool group and this week some of the moms in our group got together for a little Shannon-inspired crafting.

Craft supplies should be pictured under the definition of “happy” in the dictionary.

This girl loves a party. She especially loves a girl party. Though she couldn’t join in this time, she made a welcome sign and little paper dolls for all the moms. She’s got the gift of hospitality.9.14frames-049.14frames-059.14frames-069.14frames-09

Below is the original one Shannon made me – it makes me think of her each time I see it. Check out her post to see how she added doilies too.9.14frames-08*The small photo prints are from Social Print Studio, they are from my Instagram account

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  • heather barta - Thanks for sharing! I just placed my order with social print studio ;) I am a long time fan and I LOVE all your posts, very inspirational!

  • Carrie - What a great idea! We love our CC and this inspires me to gather and do something encouraging with the moms. We have a moms night out, but wouldn’t it be fun to have a moms night “in” and take over with crafts!?!? Makes me happy to think about it. Also, I have been a long time reader (thank you for your awesome daily blog!!!!) and I thought it was great that you noted your daughters gift of hospitality – like mother like daughter I am thinking :)

  • Jenn - what a fun project and time you had with friends. you girl is a sweetie. i have probably said this before but think she and my girl would get along well. i think my daughter has the gift of hospitality as well.

  • Sandy C - Great way to combine a party for girls, scrap fabric, & yarn :) Thanks for the idea!

  • Heather - what a lovely idea! I’m going to make one with my daughter for her room!

  • Emily Elderworth - Hello! These are adorable! Is the yarn just hot glued to the back of the frame? Thanks!

  • kimberly oyler - oh i love these.

  • Itzi - Thanks for sharing. I love anything to do with boards and hanging photos and papers. I must try to do this at home.
    Have a great day
    Chaotic Itzi @

  • Corrie - Love this Ashley!! I see some crafting in my future :).

  • AmyK - I’m totally making this for my future niece/nephew’s nursery! How cute! Thanks for the idea. Your blog is one of my favorites.

  • Ashley Smith - What a fun craft! Thanks for sharing. I found your blog a year and a half ago when I was looking into homeschooling. Ironically I found your blog through another gal’s blog who was a homeschooler. I don’t think that you had decided to homeschool then or if you had you hadn’t shared about it. Anyways, I have so enjoyed stopping by here and it’s a regular blessing in my life. I noticed the little welcome sign and just had to say that we have found and are enjoying CC too! This is our second year and it’s been a great part of our homeschool journey. I think you’ve just inspired me to have a CC mom’s night. Maybe we can make these! I don’t know if your group does this but ours has a map tracing contest where the kids trace maps each week and are aiming towards winning a pizza party. Tracing maps has been a fun way to help with the geography memorization. I found a huge box of wax paper sheets at Costco and that makes it easy. I hope your kids are enjoying it! Thanks!

We talked about it for months. Maybe years.

We dreamed of seeing a certain boy with his dog.

According to Chris, there is no ‘good time’ to have kids and no ‘good time’ to get a dog. You just do it and love that you did.

So last weekend we just did it.

And we love that we did.

Introducing Arley Campbell. She’s a beagle that joins a family of 3 brothers, 2 sisters, a cat, a fish, 12 hens and 1 rooster. She’s won us over.

I had to do it…9.14arley-059.14arley-06She loves the kids. When they leave the room or walk away from her outside, she cries for them. It’s pretty fun watching them all take on different roles with her. Our 8 year old has told us about 5 times each day, “I keep thinking I’m dreaming, but I’m not. I have a dog!” His joy is contagious.

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  • Karen Choat - Here I thought your blog telling the stories of your lives could not possibly get any sweeter. Love when a puppy gets a kid or five.

  • Bonnie - Since our old dog passed a while ago, I’ve been going back and forth in my head about whether or not we’ll get another dog, and when. I think this is just what I needed. Goodness, could she be any cuter?!

  • Sandy C - I imagine Arley feels the same way when she wakes up to 5 faces all ready to love & play with her!

  • Sarah - What a great new addition to your growing bunch! Simply wonderful!

  • Sarah - Cute!

  • Erika - One of the very best decisions you will ever make! Kids + dogs= HAPPY! Love your blog and your outlook on life. Arley is adorable. Enjoy!

  • dana - aside from your precious children and that adorable new puppy…that sunlight in your yard is amazing! congrats on the new addition!

  • Josefine - Oh, she’s adorable! We just got a 5 month old Icelandic sheepdog 3 weeks ago! My motto is something like (translating as we go along) Everything is just the way it’s supposed to be <3 /Josefine, mother of 2 from Sweden/in Denmark

  • Renee Johnson - Oh so sweet! What a darling little puppy :) I’m sure he will fit right in with your rambunctious crowd!

  • amy jupin - love this.
    every last bit.
    arley is a blessed little puppers.

  • Elena - I allways wanted a dog. Always!. Now, with two daugthers, we have decided that NOW it’s the moment. I agree with your husband, never it’s a good moment to have a dog, or a child… But… Maybe it’ll be the best!!!
    I’m looking for solutions for the wooden floor, My house won’t be so beauty, but… I think this is the best present for us as a family. Thanks for your inspired post!

  • Jessamy - Um, seriously, the cutest puppy ever. Adorable! Congratulations! What awesome memories your kiddos are about to make!

  • Romy - I’m so happy for you!!! Dogs are the best thing in the world!

  • Izzy - Wow she is just too cute! I feel like I need to give her a hug!

  • Sara Huber - I have a feeling beagle breeders are going to get a few more phone calls over the next few days…she is crazy-adorable!!!

  • Jody - The other night my kids and I were talking about what heaven must feel like – I told them my guess was to imagine their happiest moment on earth when they felt the most happy & loved – that that was a small taste of what heaven must feel like. My oldest son then said “my moment is when we got our lily” (our 3 year old golden).

    Your kids happy memories have just increased tenfold!

    Enjoy that puppy!!!!!

  • Lori - love this so much! such a cute little pup! can’t wait to see arley make more appearances in your posts :)

  • Debbie - Adorable!

  • Laura Sudderth - Oh, this truly made my morning. Nothing better than your first dog as a kid! Awesome. She is so cute and tiny.

  • Addie - So cute!

  • Sarah - Oh my gosh she is so cute! My husband would love for us to get a beagle, but we live in an apartment and he is going to school, so it’s just not realistic right now. But like Chris said, there is never a good time. The scale picture was precious!

  • Laura J - This is going to be good! We got a very sweet rescue dog we named Toby a little over a month ago. I am hoping for some iphone dog photography tips. When I try to get closer to snap a photo, he leaps up and gets too close. My photos are blurry and mostly of his nose! We love him and he has been a great addition to the family.

  • Kristin - So sweet! Congratulations!

  • Liz - golly, she’s adorable. enjoy her sweetness.

  • Catherine - We got a dog I really didn’t want and didn’t feel ready for but what a blessing he is. I have gone from full on dog apathy to loving his squishy furry little face like he is one of my children almost! Ah, they have a way of getting into your heart. I love how excited your son is. My daughter nearly fainted with happiness each day after we got ours (she had been asking/campaigning for a dog for YEARS).

  • Michelle Hill - ohhh my goodness!! she is too stinkin’ cute!! Enjoy every second of her :)

  • Sarah - So cute! I love the scale pictures. : )

  • Cassie - These photos are adorable! Yes! There’s never a convenient time to get a dog and they are so much work but SO worth it! Great choice! And she is a cutie!!

  • Jeannine - She’s beautiful! Congratulations on your new addition :D

  • Chris - Awww. Dogs are the best. She’s a little cutie. Congrats on your new addition. You won’t regret it. They are so loving and lovable.

  • Julie - Oh, she’s so cute and tiny! Puppies are awesome.

    I’m so happy for your 8-year-old & the rest of you. :)

  • Lucia - OK, long-time beagle owner here. You know about beagles, right? They are…well, the word that gets tossed around is “independent”…as in, they make their own decisions. As in, their IQ will sky-rocket if treats are available. Otherwise, they will take your command into consideration, but they may have their own ideas! Seriously, not the easiest to train. But they ARE little love-buckets, and so gentle with children. Congratulations to your crew, and to Arley, surely the luckiest dog on earth. :)

  • Susan - Congratulations! You will not believe the joy this little addition will add to the family dynamic! We have a beagle named Jethro and a Jack Russell named Scruffy! The grandkids absolutely light up when they see them. Enjoy!

  • LisaAnn - Lucky boy! Lucky dog! Your ‘no good time’ comment makes me smile. That’s what we keep saying, maybe we’ll just get one too. So fun.

  • Paige - Ridiculously adorable!

  • Kassondra - We have a min pin but I am also trying to talk my husband into a bigger bread for the kids for Christmas. Hopefully I get my way! ;)

  • Julie - I love when kids’ dreams come true! Yay!

  • LM - What a lucky puppy to be welcomed into your family! She sure looks sweet and like she fits right in already.

  • kimberly oyler - “ohhh stoppp!!!!” – the words that came out of my mouth when i saw that first scale picture. i don’t even like dogs and i just want to snuggle her right up!

  • Jenny - Congratulations! She is adorable.

  • RaD - Beagles are cute, loving and great family dogs. Just be warned… they are notorious for running away. Ask me how I know.

    Enjoy your new family member and watch her carefully as she gets older. You’ve been warned, LOL!

  • Melissa - We have 2 tri colored and they are getting old now so are sorta slowing down (12 and 9)but that nose can still get them into a heap of trouble (cat food, cat box – ick – garbage) We thought we were outsmarting Miss Kaylee and bought a rather expensive trash can which she figured out in less than 2 hours. She also has figured out the gate to the chicken side of the yard everytime we have come up with a new way of keeping her out – both of them LOVE raw chicken eggs and help themselves if they have the opportunity. TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN – beagles are stubborn and their nose distracts them constantly so it can sometimes take a bit longer but they can be trained. And introduce her to the chickens with her on a leash – she makes a move towards them, correct her. Mine are completely trustworthy with any poultry – however, if one of our rabbits gets loose, all bets are off. ENJOY!! They may be work but I have never seen a mean beagle and they are wonderful for kids!!

  • Diana - Oh my goodness. I am not a dog person, or an animal person really, but that is one adorable puppy. Enjoy!

  • Megan - Oh my word!!! She’s adorable!!!! Just when I thought your family couldn’t possibly get any cuter. :) We have a beagle and a beagle mix so beagles really have my heart. With all that room to run and play … what a lucky dog!!

  • Jenn - I think she is the cutes thing ever. makes me rething wanting a dog…..I mean no I don’t…….yes I do. ;)

  • Stephanie - I enjoy reading your blog, this is my first comment! Congrats on your adorable puppy! I never had a dog growing up. My teenage sons wanted a dog and were asking for a long time, it seemed like everyday one of their friends posted on social media photos of their new dog. Thoughts and feelings of guilt about my sons growing up and not having the experience of having a family pet bothered me – I didn’t want to look back and have that regret, just because it may be “hard”. I guess I never really said “Yes” but we did it, and I am so happy we did! We wanted/needed a non-shedding, “hypoallergenic” dog, so we found a breeder and purchased an Australian Labradoodle puppy. We have fallen in love! Now that she is potty trained things are easier. She is also crate trained and does not have complete access to the house. The boys look forward to coming home to see her after school. They have been active participants in her care from the very beginning, I did not want this to become an argument of “take her out – this is your dog, you wanted a dog so help out” and it hasn’t. I am so proud of our family all pitching in to care for the puppy. It is nice to have something we all focus on taking care of, playing with and enjoying. She is a great addition to our family and I am so happy we did it! Best of luck to you with your new dog!

  • Kelleyn - Adorable!

  • Sudeshna - I read your blog for last two years and I was wondering for a long time why dont u have any dog!! for me also i feel a family is really incomplete without a dog :)

  • Tanya - I love this!!!! Congratulations!!!! Great choice on a beagle. We have two! I can’t wait to watch for picture of that little cutie being devoured with love by your family. Every kids needs a dog! ????

  • Joe - I grew up with dogs and now my kids are. I love seeing kids with their pets but dogs seem extra special. There’s just something wonderful about watching my son romp through our yard with our dog, Molly.

  • Libbe - Total cuteness! And now you get to practice your dog photography skills (and we get to watch! :)

  • Tanya - My comment should not have ?? after it, not sure what that is. Anyway, congrats again — so exciting!

  • Maureen - Our 3 are all in college right now and the thing they miss the most above all else is our dog!!!! True love. The youngest is a freshman and has us take pictures of the pooch and text him.

  • Carmen - too too cute!! I love the photo on the scales. We have wondered about getting a beagle (as in my husband is desperate, and I am holding back), so I will watch with interest your journey.

  • Ruthanne - We had a beagle, who lived to be 14 years old. She was the sweetest dog! We all loved her. They do tend to “wander” a bit, when they put their nose to the ground – it is the hound dog in them. But, she was such a people dog! I still miss that dog …! Beagle puppies have the cutest faces – they look like they are wearing eyeliner! Enjoy her!

  • Lisa - Oh, mercy. I love beagles. My grandparents had two different beagles during my childhood and they are etched in my mind as the perfect dog. Lucky Campbells! Lucky Arley!

  • Sam F. - Oh my goodness, this post makes me so happy! Little Arley is adorable beyond words and to hear how happy it makes your kids and how little Arley just loves your kids too…So good! Thanks for sharing this sweetness!

  • Shana - The picture on the scale is so cute and then as she jumps down – love it!!

  • brittony - no good time and no bad time!

  • Heidi Jo the Artist - We just saw two cute beagle puppies while camping around a week ago. They are adorable!

  • Melissa - Oh my goodness this dog is absolutely beautiful! The perfect addition to your family!