Two weeks ago (or something close to that) I posted about our garden and a few books we are using in the gardening process. One book several of you asked about was the Our Year in the Garden journal. At the time, there really wasn’t a way for me to share more in regards to how you could order one. The journal is produced by the non-profit Global Gardens. Global Gardens is ‘dedicated to empowering students and communities through hands on science education.”

There are 4 Global Garden sites in the Tulsa area. Chris and I visited one a few years ago. It was incredible. Students create and plant gardens (and now some include bees & chickens) – in the process they are learning about science, community, health and the environment. I am not sure how I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the journals, but I somehow I did. The journal is BIG – there are so many activities included. We have one journal and have been working through it as a family. I’m pretty excited to have this documentation of our garden and the process this year.

Global Gardens now has a pre-order option for journals available in June – so for all of you that were asking…you can click here to pre-order one! All the proceeds go towards the mission of Global Gardens and towards providing journals for kids in their after school programs.

We are skipping around the journal based on which kid I have working on a certain page. I knew my 8 year old would be perfect for the task of creating a garden sign.

4.15GardenSign-1I found a piece of scrap wood that was once in my grandpa’s garage – the grandpa that was a master gardener. It seemed like a good fit. My son began sketching out his design.4.15GardenSign-34.15GardenSign-4After he drew all the details, it was time to paint. Originally, my plan was for him to make the sign completely on his own. He really didn’t want the task of painting, so I agreed to help him on that part. He sat next to me and chose every color and detail. It was really fun to get to make it with him instead of just watching him – it is something we will both remember doing together.4.15GardenSign-54.15GardenSign-84.15GardenSign-10It is pretty much the best garden sign I have ever seen. His creativity in designing the letters blows me away. The Campbell Garden has never looked so good ~ now just to get stuff growing!

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***If you are interested in pre-ordering a journal (available in June), click here. I was not asked to promote the journal here – I’m just really excited about it and am confident other parents would enjoy using it with their kids too!

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  • Kirsten - ADORABLE sign!! I LOVE it!

  • Erika - That is a very cool sign! Love the creativity!

  • Dawn Ritchie - That really is the best garden sign ever! Such a great job!

  • Natalie - Get the best waterproof sealer money can buy on that thing. It is amazing!

  • Kelley - First of all- so cool that y’all created together!! Secondly, wow!! Holy camoli! It is awesome!! Your son is so talented and creative!! I love each of his letters and his color choices!! Cannot wait to see more of what he creates over the years.

  • Beth - Add me to the list of admirers of the sign…and the process! Good job Momma!

  • Michelle - wow he is crazy talented! I wish I can be that creative :) the sign is awesome. And thank you for the heads up on the gardening journal. I really want one too!

  • Kimberly - That garden sign floored me! I absolutely love it! He should open an Etsy shop!!

  • Renata - This sign really is the best garden sign ever. Good job, sir. :)

  • ~abi~ - what an amazing sign!! so impressive! :)

  • AshleyAnn - Thank you for your kind comments…I am letting him read them, you guys are encouraging him so much. Thank you!

  • Kimberly - What an awesome sign! Very impressive!

  • Carol - Do you think he would make a sign for his Pappy’s strawberry garden? Just amazing creativity a!!

  • Susan - Wow! #2 has some awesome art skills! The naturalist in him is also artistic in thought which is fantastic! That is a beautiful sign that will be a beautiful memory for the two of you!
    Grow, Campbell Garden, grow!
    Susan

  • Carrie - Great sign!! Good job both of you! So cool. :)

  • michele - This sign is outrageously creative. The more I see it the more I appreciate the details. Wouldn’t this lettering make a cool font? Great collaboration!

  • Lisa - What an incredible little artist!! That sign is epic!! He should design a garden font and sell it, seriously. I’m sure Lesley is super proud of his lettering skills!! And you are so inspirational the way you encourage each child in their talent and interests. Love it!!

  • Heather - wow!! That is gorgeous!

  • Emily Marie - I loved every part of this story! Very nice job!

  • MC - That is an amazing sign!!!

  • Lynn - Every time I look at the sign I find new details your son added to the letters!! What a great sign and a treasure for the entire family for years and years to come!! Great job!!

  • Angela - Holy smokes….that sign!!! LOVE.

  • Margo - Oh my goodness….love the sign! How very creative!

  • Diana - You are right, that is the best garden sign I’ve ever seen!!

  • Bethany - That is the best garden sign ever! Very creative…and it just plain looks GOOD! Thanks for the example of how to encourage your children in their unique gifts and talents!

  • Juli - I LOVE that sign! Ashley, how man acres do y’all have? How big is your garden? We were planning ours this but might move out of state. Just curious for planning purposes…

  • Sara - That is the cutest sign I’ve ever seen! You and your son did a fantastic job on it!

  • Haley - i LOVE the sign! Great job!

  • jenn - It is just perfect. I love every bit of it. So creative

  • Ellen - That sign is adorable! He did a great job designing it! The two of you could go into business making custom garden signs; I’d pay good money for one like it with my name on it. Haha! :)

  • stephanie - Will be he be taking custom orders? no, really….i need one! His work is amazing!!!

  • Nicole L. - Oh my goodness! What a creative design! I love all the detail and how everything is garden related. I think the person is my favorite. I wish he could make one for me!

  • Debbie C - I love the sign for the artistry, but also for the history of the wood. So perfect for your garden!

  • Breana Parker - Nice job, man!! It’s so creative — I was especially impressed when I realized the”M” was a spider! (I’m pretty sure?) You’ve done well!

  • Jen - That is BRILLIANT. Well done!!! Love, Love, Love. :)

  • Jolene - This is so neat! Fun memories!

  • Lakmali - Wow what a wonderful sign!!!!! he is so creative!!!!!! well done young man!!!!

  • Nanette - The most amazing sign! I am so impressed with the patience and talent to do that! Love it!

  • RachelC - Wow!!! What an amazing talent. I agree…hands down best garden sign ever. And, what a perfect spot to hang it. Just love all of this. Gardening is in my blood too.

  • Erin - oh i just love that sign!!

  • Regan - NICE job!

  • Shannon Fox - That truly is the best garden sign I have ever seen. It’s so whimsical and fun and perfectly imperfect!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Great sign! Well done by all!

There is a gate leading to a small field close to our house. We took family pictures there a few years ago, when we were waiting for our youngest to come home:

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As we pass by on walks, the open gate beckons my oldest daughter to come explore. I’ve snapped a few shots with my phone recently and keep thinking, “I need to bring my big camera on a walk.” So, I did. Granted the walk is more like a few steps out the front door.

28mm lens, 1/320, f/1.8, ISO 100

4.15walk-185mm lens, 1/320, f/1.8, ISO 100, 85mm lens, 1/500, f/1.8, ISO 1004.15walk-285mm lens, 1/400, f/1.8, ISO 100, 85mm lens, 1/500, f/1.8, ISO 1004.15walk-485mm lens, 1/800, f/1.8, ISO 1004.15walk-685mm lens, 1/800, f/1.8, ISO 1004.15walk-785mm lens, 1/500, f/1.8, ISO 100, 85mm lens, 1/500, f/1.8, ISO 100 (Hey big sister, I have a TEENY piece of grass stuck on my finger. Can you help me out?)4.15walk-850mm lens, 1/320, f/1.4, ISO 1004.15walk-1050mm lens, 1/320, f/1.4, ISO 1004.15walk-1150mm lens, 1/400, f/1.4, ISO 1004.15walk-1250mm lens, 1/400, f/1.4, ISO 1004.15walk-13

And then they were done and scooted away. Well, one scooted and the other ran screaming behind because she wanted the scooter.

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Registration for both of my April/May online photography courses (SnapShops for phone & DSLR) is open, courses begin on Monday. Both courses are my approach to capturing my days with my phone & DSLR – going over composition and storytelling. The phone course also covers tips, tricks and apps related to phone photography. The DSLR course is for the beginner wanting to better understand how to use a camera – going from Auto to Manual. Click here for more information on each course and to register.

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  • Jenn - beautiful pictures.
    i love walking adventures that take you unexpected places

  • Angela - The two are my favorite. She looks like such a sweet big sister, showing her the scooter and then in the last photo, she zooms away. Love it.

  • suzy - So absolutely sweet. They look like they play well together.

  • Abigail C - These pictures are awesome! It’s so cool to see your daughter twirling! Are you going to re-shoot the chair line up picture with her in it? I think that would be really cool.

  • SueY - Beautiful pictures! What type of camera bag do you use to carry your lenses for your walks?

  • Eva - First photo is the one that had led me here some years ago…Thank you for your blog and lots of inspirations. One of them is to take yearly picture of all our family. Eva from Czech Republic

  • donna - I miss that baby “Firecracker” and her boots, but am enjoying the journey of her becoming a “Young Lady” thanks for taking us along.

  • Marilyn - Did you switch lenses when you went from 85mm to 50mm or do you have a zoom?

  • joanne burrows - What a special memory for her!!!

  • Simi - Hi Ann,

    I read your blog on and off, your love for your children and motherhood is what makes me keep coming back.

    I love your photography too….only these will remain when they are all ‘growed up’ ….

    Could you please tell me which camera you are using currently?
    I am trying to go for a big good buy so would appreciate help making up my mind.

    Good luck with everything you do.God bless.
    Simi

  • Amy - Ashley,

    I may have missed it, but did you ever take an updated photo in the field again with little one sitting in the chair the balloon was tied too?

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh those girls. I just love their friendship.

Ignorance is bliss.

This holds true for many of the recipes my grandma passed down to me.

For years, decades really, I ate and ate the desserts she made.

No one can make a blackberry cobbler like she did.

Most holidays she made Millionaire Pie. I think she found the recipe in the newspaper a really long time ago, it was a classic at Furrs Cafeteria.

4.15MillionairePie-1

I always helped her make the rolls for holiday meals. I also watched her make different cobblers and cookies. One thing I never watched her make was Millionaire Pie. The first couple holidays after she passed away no one made her pie. I think we all just forgot to make it because she always did. I missed it and decided to make about 2 years ago. Ignorance is bliss.

The pie called for a lot of butter, powdered sugar, whipping cream, pecans, pineapple, vanilla and raw eggs.

Basically, it should be called Butter Sugar Pie because that is primarily what it is. I was shocked the first time I made it. Not so shocked that I have stopped making for holiday meals.4.15MillionairePie-2This year I laughed making it thinking about how different baking and hospitality was for my grandma. I am sure she made it for friends and family without anyone thinking twice about raw eggs being used and all those calories. She baked what tasted good and what my grandpa requested.  She weighed maybe 80lbs when she was soaking wet and was fireball. I miss her.

For the record, I used eggs my chickens laid that morning…and all that butter and sugar tasted pretty good with my coffee. Not that I ate a piece for breakfast after I got home from Crossfit. That would not make any sense.

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  • Southern Gal - That looks and sounds like deliciousness. I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and supper. Oh, those grandmothers! Yours sounds amazing. We discussed my husband’s grandmother’s cooking over our dinner table on Easter. We miss her pound cakes which she baked and sold for about the last 20 of her 92 years. No one has attempted to make the recipe because, well, we would all gain about 10 pounds just looking at the thing! And don’t you know grandmamas have the magic ability to take out all the calories of the food they prepare? I’m a grandmama now so I have to learn that secret trade. ;)

  • Peggy - I don’t think it is right to talk about this delicious desssert and not share the recipe! It sounds fantastic!

  • AshleyAnn - Peggy – if you click on the name of the pie at the beginning of the post it is a link that takes you to the recipe

  • Ashley - I love this… all four of my grandparents are still alive and I’m trying to soak up every minute I can with them. Writing down recipes and stories. Love that you have this memory of your sweet grandma!

  • amber - Lol! Yes to your last 3 sentences! And my Naw was a baking rockstar too. Their house always smelled amazing. She passed on her taste for the sugar block of the food pyramid to me. Ha! Love this…

  • Trisha - This made me giggle! I’ve NEVER had a piece of pie or cake for breakfast either! (wink wink!)

  • Tiffany - Oh goodness, Ignorance is bliss. I have those thoughts sometimes too about the raw egg (hello! cookie dough, cake batter) and then the hysteria (you shouldn’t, you can’t, you wouldn’t!). I know some of it is for good reason, but sometimes you have to have a little taste.

  • Emily - I regularly have pie for breakfast…when we have pie. It’s not that different from a pastry :-) I say you enjoy it!

  • Alice H - I miss Furr’s!! Before my grandpa Bob died from cancer, we would go there at least once a week. I love that pie!

  • susie - Isn’t that funny! There were a lot of treats that I loved as a kid, when I got older I asked for the recipe and realized how much butter and sugar were in all of them! They don’t taste quite as good when I make them myself!

  • Amy Cornwell - That looks divine. Yum. And sounds delicious with a cup of coffee ;)

  • Kim B. - Ok so now I have the old Furr’s jingle in my head . .. “Furr’s Cafeteria . . making up your mind . . is half the fun.”

  • Suzie - I think that pie looks delicious! As for the calories, eat um! I am a firm believer in eating “real” food. So bring on the butter and sugar and raw eggs. Especially farm fresh eggs. My mouth is watering as I think about it. Have an extra piece for me. What a special memory to have of your grandmother. They are all a very special breed.

  • Marianne L - It makes perfect sense to me!

  • Diana - That looks like something I’d have to try before knowing what was in it! I love baking but often tell people they don’t want to know the butter & sugar contents. Luckily calories don’t count on holidays! Or at Grandma’s house. =)

  • Kelleyn - Yes! Where is the recipe! :)

  • Jolene - That’s why you exercise, right? So you can have pie like that ;)