Sometimes Chris and I need to remind each other to take advantage of little opportunities.

I think we just forget. We forget we can choose to just go. Or do. Or be.

This week we decided to do just that…take advantage of the ease of owning a trailer, of homeschooling and working from home. We turned my phone into a mobile hotspot for work, loaded the kids and the school supplies up and headed to the lake for a few days. Our normal routine was much the same, but the view was so much better.

We have no idea how long this season will last. The season of homeschooling, self-employment, owning a trailer – seasons in life change like seasons in weather. We need to take advantage of the perks of this season in our family more often.
9.14campschool-01She dictated a sentence for her copywork…it made me smile. Also, her crazy camping hair makes me smile and fills my heart with gratitude for conditioner.9.14campschool-029.14campschool-039.14campschool-059.14campschool-069.14campschool-08

We still did school. We still did work. But, we did it in a different way.

It was a welcomed change of pace. We all breath a little deeper outside. The state parks will be closing soon for winter. I think we are going to try to take advantage of this season of weather and life a little more often. There really is no good reason not too…

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  • Charity G. - You inspire me. Thank you.

  • Rochelle - I discovered your blog today for the first time and I love everything little and big thing about it…..

  • Amy G - Foe our family,being self employed can be super stressful and it feels like you’re never ‘off’. Homeschooling is very similar because as the teacher, when we’re not teaching, there is always planning and prepping to do. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that with the challenges, there are WAY MORE blessings to take advantage of!

  • Mrs.T - What a fabulous idea! You have the trailer and the flexibility — go for it for the rest of the camping season!

    Love your blog and reading about all that God is doing in your family’s lives. Thank you for being willing to share.

  • susie - Looks like lots of fun! This is the only reason I would home school, if winter did not last so blasted long here in Wyoming!

  • Carrie - No trailer, no work from home, BUT we do homeschool and I am soooo thankful for the flexibility of doing our school in the backyard on these fall days. Amazing how much being out in God’s creation changes my attitude and my kids. Now to just get rid of this smoke so we can go back to enjoying it! Thanks for the grateful reminder!

  • Megan - We bought an airstream with the goal of doing a year of road school after renovating the airstream. I love these photos. It is inspiring and so exciting to see.

  • Melissa - Could you tell me the place you camped at? It looks great!

  • Diana - LOVED this! My family homeschooled many years of my childhood and we used to take our family camping trips in the fall when regular schools were in session. My Mom would give us projects about our destinations – history, geography, plants, animals, culture, etc. and count some of them as school days. It was awesome!

  • Lynn - Oh, I agree! I need to enjoy the special things about our life (like the freedom that comes from homeschooling) more and not feel bad and worry about “what other people will think.”

  • Taylor - What an awesome opportunity! I hope to have the same chances like that when I have my own little ones. I love that you homeschool your kids and I wonder, how much technology you incorporate into your schooling.


  • Laura - LOVE you guys and what you do. :)

  • Shannon - Looks like pure heaven!

  • Kelleyn - Love it!

  • Olivia - This is beautiful and inspiring. I have been reading your blog for years and I feel extremely blessed by you and the love and passion you have for life.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Such a great point! I have the privilege of being a stay at home mom right now. For so many years, I wasn’t. I reeeallly need to soak this season in!

  • Emily - I LOVE IT! Such a good reminder to mix it up, I feel like our favorite family memories come when we step out of routine just a bit to seize an opportunity. :)

  • brittony - yes! do what you can when you can. love this so much.

  • Mirys - You Inspire Me! Simple like that. Thank you so very much.

    Kisses and blessings. Mirys (from Brazil)

  • Valerie - Ashley, you inspire me and make me feel guilty on a regular basis! Ha ha. But seriously, you make me want to be a better mom. Thanks for sharing. It looks like great fun!

  • elizabeth H - reading almost an entire month late ~ i needed this today!
    thank you friend!

Guest posts seem to come in spurts for me. I really don’t do guest posts often because I try to limit my time on the computer and I like posting here. However, recently two of my friends asked me to share a little bit on their blogs and I was honored to get to do so.

The first guest post is on my friend Erin’s blog. She is doing a series on ‘Balance’ and asked me to share a little bit about how I juggle home, work, schooling and all the other stuff. My post really is more about how I don’t balance it all and how I’ve had to come to grips with how I can’t do it all and do it all well. I choose not to do it all. I choose to say “no”, so I can say “yes”. If you want to read the whole ‘how not to balance it all’ post, you can click here to go to Erin’s blog, Tweet Potato Pie.erin-01

My second post is over at No Hands But Ours, a blog full of resources for adoptive families (with a focus on “special need” adoptions from China). A few of my friends are authors on NHBO and I am thrilled to celebrate a new blog launch with them. I wrote a post about watching my youngest daughter come to life. You can click here to read my guest post.9.14NHBO-019.14NHBO-03

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  • LeeH - Nice guest post. I just want to say.. that your little loved ones FEEL that they are important is a VERY important thing. Take it from one who heard the empty words but never felt any truth behind them, it hurts, and it’s a hurt that never goes away. I remember saying to my Mom when I was in my 20′s that I knew she loved me, but I didn’t feel that she loved ME.
    Anyway. I just want to say GO YOU!, Nothing will ever be as important as your family KNOWING that you love them.

  • Chantel - I just read your post about balance and LOVE it! I love that you have decided to put your family ahead of business and networking and yet your business still thrives. Thanks for being such a great role model to all us other mothers out there!

  • Debbie - What a great post on not balancing everything. I take my hat off to you for figuring this out at a young age. You go girl!!!

  • Paige - Love the aspect of yes, we will disappoint someone. No question about that. But its WHO we decide to disappoint that defines who we love. You need to make a T-shirt. Or get your sis to create a print. I would hang that in a heartbeat. Your littlest makes me want to bawl and shout for joy at the same time. God put her exactly in the right place with the right brothers and sister and Dad and Mama. Keep embracing your seasons, Ashley Campbell. You are conquering where it matters!

  • Sue Symens - You inspire me! Praying for your day. Blessing to your family.

  • Susan - Your post on Erin’s blog is just AWESOME, AWE-INSPIRING, AND HONEST.
    You are years ahead of me and I am years OLDER than you. Thank you for the reminder that the ones to be there for are those that you love, that you live with, that you would die for.
    Love, love, love you for your honesty.

  • jennifer carlisle - I have to say that your article at Tweet Potatoe Pie just really hit home with me. I too treasure the too quickly passing time with my kids. Finding balance is so important. Thank you! Your children are blessed to have you as their mother.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Thank you for writing the post on balance. You teach me so much. I’m so thankful that you shared it!

  • kimberly oyler - oh ashley, you are so full of wisdom. and such a good mom. i laughed at the part about responding to emails though. considering how many emails you probably get, i’ve always thought you were so quick to reply!

  • Julie - Loved the guest posts, saying “no” to free yourself for “yes” to the littles-that’s exactly what I needed to read right now. I struggle with it daily. Thanks again!

  • Emily Betzler - THANK YOU! Your guest post on balance was such a good and important reminder for me. Your openness and honesty is a gift.

    - emily

Brothers a few years ahead of them.
A sister a few years below.
They are in the middle, 15 months apart.

My twins that aren’t twins, but are becoming more ‘twin-like’ each day.

He passed down the Spider Man costume, she was happy to take over ownership.
9.14spidergirl-01She hugs him a lot. He endures it. Deep down I know he really likes it.9.14spidergirl-02She joined me in the trailer while I was packing away a few things. Looking so cute climbing around, I asked her if I could take a picture. She agreed, but then got grumpy about it.9.14spidergirl-04I was just about to put my camera down, when I noticed the spark in her eye. Can you see it?9.14spidergirl-05She spotted the mirror behind me….9.14spidergirl-069.14spidergirl-07Oh yea, I’m cute stuff.9.14spidergirl-089.14spidergirl-09He 10 year old brother can tune me out when he has a book.

Her 8 year old brother can tune me out when he is drawing.

Her 6 year old brother can tune me out – well, all the time.

She can tune me out when she spots a mirror.

Watch out world, it is Wonder Spider Girl.

House pictures: ISO 125, 1/250, f/1.4

Trailer pictures: ISO 320, 1/200, f/2.8

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  • Tracy Newton - I too had a spider girl with a brother 25 months ahead of her. The love they shared at that age was remarkable. Their relationship is having a few growing pains now that they are in their teens but at the core is still that same tremendous love.

  • Kassondra - I have 4 girls and yet my 2nd is a huge spiderman fan. I guess it’s something to do with the ability to climb and all kinds of things.but Spider Man is definitely not just for boys :)

  • Sasha Farina - oh she’s so cute i can’t stand it!

  • Debbie Mayfield - She is adorable. I hope she never loses her spirit.

  • Julie - Sweet! Maybe you need a miner’s hat, the light replaced with a small mirror?

  • Heather - My son and daughter are 16 months apart, so I love seeing a glimpse of the future in your two middle kiddos. My daughter happily plays with her brother’s toys right now and I can see that being a trend as she’s a bit of a daredevil (even at 10 months). :p

  • Tiffany - Haha! Love this post– what an awesome super-hero{ine}!! *Adorable, priceless pictures! :)

  • Seamingly Sarah - We love Wonder Woman over here in our household. My two daughters just adore her and She-Ra. We’ve got homemade costumes for both, although the Wonder Woman costume could use work. My 6 year old insisted on the underwear part of the costume to be exactly like Wonder Woman’s, but I think it’d be better with a skirt! A little more coverage. And my 6 year old can also tune me out with a mirror. You should see her lose focus at gymnastics when she spots herself in the mirror. It’s like a magical blackhole. =)

  • Heather - She just makes me happy. Love your photos.

  • michele - I love your keen awareness and appreciation for your kiddos and your entire world. I have read your blog since 2009 and it seems as if you are even more sensitive and grateful than ever before. Thank you for sharing and please continue to let us see these glimpses of your life.

  • aneta - she looks like you!

  • Rebecca - Oh how I love to read your posts. Our girls are two of a kind. Feisty and sweet all rolled into one. I believe it has something to do with fantastic older brothers. :)