Most of these I posted on Instagram, but I kind of like to do round ups every now and then here.

These were all shot with my iPhone…just lots of random!


This girl is playing flag football this season. She’s got a brother on her team. A dad as a coach. And she prefers ‘princess braids’ for the games.

I have two guest posts featured today…

Tips for Capturing WHO your kids are on the Mpix blog:

guest-post-ashley-ann-blog-sept.14A photo essay of our June road trip on America Within


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  • Susan - Wow, a triple hitter! Congratulations! I loved all three!
    Happy Fall Weekend!

  • Laura Sudderth - Love all of these. My favorite is the picture of your daughter and the camera. That picture is priceless. We do mimic our parents.

  • kimberly oyler - that firecracker sure is a beauty.

  • Ruth - I love seeing all of your photos here :) I follow you on Instagram too but have noticed that the news feed doesn’t always show everything that has been posted so it’s easy to miss photos! It might be like Facebook where the more you interact with someone, the more of their photos you see.

  • Kristin S - That top left Firecracker pic? Totally looks like Lesley’s girls there.

  • Amy - Where did you get the “I’m not here to be average” poster? I so want one of those!

  • Danielle - Two great posts! You always encourage me to capture moments!

  • Michael - This is a great collection of photographs. You captured each scene so perfectly. You capture scenes in photos like a painter does on a canvas.

  • Paige - As always your photos and blog are like a deep breath to me. For some reason they just speak to my heart like breathing mountain air on a hike. Thanks so much for sharing your family. My favorite in this series is the dirt pile! Unrestrained, unscripted, pure kid fun. Like watching my boys on a Sunday night play flag football in my living room with socks tucked into their shorts. Knowing someone is going to crash into the cedar chest, but unable to stop the fun because its just so freeing to watch!

  • Laura - I’m with Amy! Where’d ya’ get the I’m not here to be average poster?

  • Amber - I need that “I’m here to be AWESOME” poster too and Google is failing me. I must know. :)

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!