I saw this photo a while back on One Pretty Thing and knew I wanted to make several for our house. You can find the tutorial here. I love how simple it is. So I had a great plan to take the boys to the park and use child labor to gather tons of acorns. I bribed them by saying we were going to go feed the ducks…which we did.acornwreath1009leaves-1

After feeding the ducks I handed them 2 pails and got them excited to fill them with as many acorns as we could find. Turns out the acorns were still hanging from the branches, so I came up with Plan B on the spot. We gathered leaves….1009leaves-2

Of course you can’t gather leaves without running and diving in them too…1009leaves-3

Or without flipping into them….1009leaves-4

Or without getting major grass stains on 1 of your 2 pairs of school pants…1009leaves-5

Later that night I set out the leaves, glue and a big sheet of paper to make our version of ABC cards I saw on Martha Stewart.1009leaves-6

Biggest Brother loves to read and write, so this was perfect for him.1009leaves-7

His dad won with the best design…a cricket. Biggest Brother took his paper to school the next day to show his teacher. He thought it was super fun…this is a great indoor activity to pass time in the horrible frigid below 60 weather….I still plan on making that wreath.1009leaves-8

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  • Kari - What a neat idea!!

  • Jeannette Swan - Wonderful stuff!! I love the wreath, I had my boys collect acorns so I could use them in vases for decoration, but the wreath would be amazing. The leaf stuff is great too. Last year, Camden had to create something like that for school with leaves, ours was a turkey…it turned out good, but was a lot of work. And, as for the grass stains, I understand that too, when it got cool, I realized Camden only had one pair of school pants that fit and yesterday they came home covered in grass stains. We are going shopping tonight for more, I can’t keep washing them every night!!

  • the inadvertent farmer - We’re in the middle of doing a leaf alphabet also…gotta love Martha! The acorn wreath is wonderful. But I must say it is the pictures of your kiddos that made me smile. Enjoy this season with your little ones! Kim

  • Lisa - so fun! I can’t tell you how much I miss having little ones. You are doing such a great job soaking up the moments with your children. They grow up too fast! Thankfully, my teenagers still enjoy jumping into leaf piles =)

  • PamperingBeki - Those wreaths are so cute!
    I saw one the other day made of candy corn and loved it too.

    Ashley, will you email me? I have a question (not photography related) and the contact link at the top isn’t working for me.

    Thanks! :)

  • Holly - Just beware that often (maybe always?) acorns have little worms in them. We learned that the hard way after gathering them at the park and bringing them home last fall. It was gross.

  • dana - VERY cool (and fun) idea. I may have to try this!
    btw, your blog is one my new favorites. I subscribe to a lot of “photography blogs” but yours falls in a category beyond that. Not only are you photos amazing and beautiful to look at…but you also showcase cool craft ideas, funny humor, and you blog about your every day life (instead of only posting photo sessions with clients, etc).
    I really love it when a post from your blog pops up on my Google Reader! Thanks for sharing!
    - dana

  • Škrabalica » Nedeljne zanimljivosti 3 - [...] Ashley Ann Photography i igre sa liš?em. [...]

  • Tobia - Okay, I just stumbled here from across the wide web and found a few great ideas and a great blog. Keep up the good work. Love the Leaf alphabet idea. May have to try some soon with my little critters at home :) Thanks and cheers to fun at home and great photos to document it! Tobia

  • leaf project failure and or fiber « EYE OF TOBIA PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG - [...] in our extremities. I found this project posted on a blog I really enjoy about a DIY craft for a Leaf Alphabet based on an idea from Martha Stewart’s site found here: So I thought to myself- I can [...]

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I’m a spring and summer girl, but each fall I begin to think I like the fall. Well, I do actually like the fall – at least when the low is above 60. I like how cute my boys look in jeans and clothes…as opposed to going shirtless in swimtrunks all summer long. They look cute dressed. But the pile of laundry from all those fall clothes is not so cute.

We ventured over to grandpa’s ‘farm’….1009goats-1

Biggest Brother protected me from the goats with Grandma’s stick.

If it had been summer I would have let him strip down to his undies and fully enjoy all that great mud. Another downfall of cold weather – can’t hose them off.

Always climbing on something.1009goats-2

The real reason we were tromping around was to find the baby goats. If this ‘smile and say cheese’ picture was the only one I had of Big Brother with the goats I would have missed pretty much the whole story of his time there.1009goats-3

I would have missed his tender, tender heart towards this baby goat.1009goats-4

I would have missed the joy of when Grandpa placed the goat in his arms and the contentment he had just cuddling it.1009goats-5

I didn’t know baby goats were so cute.1009goats-6

I also would have missed the way his little heart broke when that baby goat was crying “MAAAA, MAAAA” for its mommy.

(Yes, I am making that goat noise aloud as I type:))1009goats-7

And I would have missed him singing, “It’s okay baby goat, I have you. It’s okay.” And the goat calming down in the arms of my son, The Goat Whisperer.1009goats-8

He cried the first time I told him he couldn’t bring the baby goat home. I asked him where it would sleep. He said, “In my bed cuddled with me.” The other times he has gone to visit the babies they have been asleep in the hay. He climbs up and lays down with them…and would stay there for hours if I let him. I asked him if the baby goat was cuter than his baby sister. He said “Yes, the baby goat is cuter because it is smaller.” Gonna have to work on that.

Photo Tip: Don’t get so caught up in trying to get your kids to look and smile at the camera….you might just miss the best pictures.

Post update:

For some great DIY projects visit the link below…I added my felt flower headband there today.

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  • amanda torres - That is the sweetest thing EVER!

  • Jeannette Swan - Ok. Everyone knows I’m not an animal fan, but HELLO – how sweet is that!?!

  • christina larsen - Who knew that baby goats were so stinkin’ cute. Absolutely precious.

  • bopha - how sweet, i think he needs a goat at home.

  • lesley - Love the photos! Looks like you guys had a good time and looks like Hud needs a goat. Goat whisperer, love it.

  • Trinity - Ashley, in the first picture, what did you do post-processing to get that effect? Just curious. Great pictures. You have a lot of patience to wait for the right moment to click. Your a great teacher….I love the tips!

  • rachel denbow - Such a precious set of images and I’m sure even better memories for your son! Does everyone want a baby goat now? I’m thinking I do.

  • the inadvertent farmer - Absolutely priceless…brought tears to my eyes. Then again I’m a sucker for kids with animals! Thanks for sharing, Kim

  • Sophie - Oh my goodness. Your son and that goat are the best thing since Batman and Robin.

    So adorable!

    (Batman and Robin weren’t adorable but you catch my drift…)

  • meg duerksen - annie’s preschool usually has someone bring in a baby goat every year and it kills me not to bring home with me. i have this crazy urge to go buy a goat afterwards. they really are adorable. i think it’s the little wobbly legs. :)

  • Jill J - Boy, isn’t your last statement the truth! Every time we go somewhere with my mom, she is always stopping the fun to have us turn around and smile… so contrived!

    On a lighter note, :) the baby goat photos were so precious! And I actually said “MAAA MAAA” out loud too. No, not really, but I could see myself doing it if I were writing it. He he!

  • Meagan - Oh, so precious!!!

  • Meagan - Thanks for the link to that craft blog, BTW! Love it!

  • Rebekah Jean - That is so sweet…and you are so right! There is so much more meaning behind photos when you go past the ‘say cheese’ part. What a great post this is! It should go in the best Ashley Ann posts hall of fame. :)

  • Shannon Phillips - Oh man! Your boys are just so stinkin CUTE!!! I really needed some cheering up today. Thanks for making me smile!

  • Georgia Davis - I agree, summer laundry is much better than fall and winter. Oh, how I miss those summer days of no socks and onsies.

  • Liz - Those are precious!!! I think little brother needs a goat!:)

  • Holly - That is the cutest thing I have ever seen!

  • griswold fun - Those pictures are absolutely adorable!

  • Jasie - i totally cried while reading that. sweetest thing EVER!

  • AshleyAnn - Trinity…I ran a texture over the top of it in Photoshop.

  • andy - my father in law has goats and i have some pics of my son with them too. he’s not as taken as yours and doesn’t hold them like he did but they are cute pics. i need to get the posted on my blog. your’s are great

  • pamela - seriously making me want a little boy, or two or three : )! those pictures are priceless. i love littlest brothers face in the background!

  • kylesmom - So sweet! Corbett was just telling me yesterday that his grandpa has goats. Corbett is such a good story teller, I love him!

  • julie - Whatevs. Didn’t really plan on crying today.
    His heart! Melt.
    Love the tip. So very, very true. I am trying to take this to heart. My oldest just isn’t comfortable looking at the camera. Ever. When she does it is weird and forced and so not her. Now I let her just be. The pictures of her looking down or looking to the side are so much more real. So much more beautiful because they are who she is right now. Sweet, gentle, shy. I am embracing it.

  • Dacia - Ok, I had to tell you how I cried when reading this!!! Obviously, I am reading through some of your favorite posts, because I’ve read all the recent ones. I absolutely love your stories- my other favorite so far is about how firecracker got her nickname. :)

I try to keep up on the questions posted in the comment sections. If you ask a question, typically I will respond to it in the comment section of the post you asked. I know there have been several questions posted over the last few months that I never got around to answering…I apologize. I try my best to stay on top of that and emails, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. If you are still waiting for an answer, just leave the question with this post and I’ll try to get to it. I did answer several of today’s questions in the post below. Thanks! – Ashley

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  • Sarah - I plan on using your Bob Stoops onesie idea! I hope you don’t mind!! I thought it was wonderful and hilarious!!!

  • Allison - Where did you get your camera bag, the messenger one? I really would like to have one like that when I am just walking around and need to carry a couple of lenses. I have seen a bunch on etsy, and was wondering if you had a recommendation for a particular designer on there. Thanks!!

  • ratna - Hi Ashley! How do you keep your children AWAY from the camera and let them do things they do? I have 2 toddlers and everytime I took out my camera they would come running to me to play with the camera. I already have 1 camera broken because of that. I’d love to picture them when they do their own thing.

  • Laura - Every time I see you at church I have been meaning to ask you where you got your baby sling/carrier that you carry your daughter in? It looks like you like it and not too mention it is adorable!! What are your thoughts about it?

  • Jennifer B. - What photo editing program do you use? I’m looking into buying one and would like to know what to get. I have a mac, and have looked into Aperture, but am really feeling lost. Thanks for any advice you may have!

  • AshleyAnn - Allison: I is called a ShootSac by Jessica Claire. It is NOT a camera bag, but just used to hold lenses, batteries and memory cards while shooting. It will not hold a camera.
    Ratna: My kids have just grown up with the camera in their face all the time, so I think they are just bored with it by now!
    Laura: It is a baby wrap from the etsy seller “LoveyDuds”. I love it and use it everyday. The sling didn’t work for me when she was a newborn, but I am thinking of trying one now that she is bigger. Jennifer: I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ve heard good things about Adobe Photoshop Elements too.