They are both constantly singing, dancing and twirling. Song requests come from sun up to sun down. We joke that my oldest daughter’s motto is “Why say it when you can sing it?”  Each night she asks us to pray that she will have dreams about singing and dancing with Jesus. I love that. I love to hear their little voices and the songs they make up. They’ve recently discovered the fun of headphones. Our iPhone ear buds never stayed in their ears, so this is a new adventure.

On the one hand they look so cute there together bopping to their tunes, reminding me of my 80s childhood. On the other hand, it feels like I’m getting a glimpse of them as teenagers and they are already growing too fast!

I still remember my first mauve walkman and Tiffany tape…cue the skating rink disco ball. Then there was the Debbi Gibson perfume, Electric Youth. And then one day things got really rad and I learned to make mixed tapes. These photos of the girls will make us laugh one day as we look back at the technology of an iPhone and headphones. One day they might remember creating their first playlists on mom & dad’s phones. I try to remind myself to take pictures with current technology fairly often. When you look back at old photos (decades, centuries) it is always fun to see the technology (or lack of).

*I originally got the headphones c/o Punchdrunk Panda to use with the boys for homeschool stuff. I think the boys might have to fight the girls to get the headphones back. They are a great fit on the kids.

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  • Mek - They’re so cute!!!

  • Amy G - Oh they are such cuties! And Debbie Gibson and Tiffany?? You’re speaking my language! Debbie Gibson was my first concert (2nd being New Kids on the Block of course) I remember BEGGING my mom to let me cut a whole at the knee of my jeans so I could draw a happy face on my jeans just like Debbie. It didn’t happen. But still fun memories!

  • Bird - seeing them together is such a wonderful pic… they are not only sister, they are best friends and partners in crime.. love the one, when fire cracker looks to her sister and is laughing about something she does on her i pod… so so lovely!

    Have a wonderful weekend with a lot of singing and dancing!

  • Jennifer - Thanks for the tip to remember to take these types of photos. They are just so cute! Oh yes, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, NKOTB… bringing back the memories.

  • Amy Espinosa - One of the reasons I love coming by for a visit {besides the obvious mind-blowing photos!} is because our baby girls are 11 and 13 now, and your girls allow for my memories of them as littles to just flow and flow! Your girls are in for MANY years of good times! Enjoy watching them bloom, Ashley!

  • Sharla Stockwell - Oh yeah, my first concert was NKOTB and I loved the container for Debbie Gibson’s perfume. :) The girls are too cute. I love to watch “My Best Friend’s Wedding” where she is holding the huge cell phone in one of the final screens :)

  • Susan - Precious girls. I love watching them grow, but it does seem they are growing at a rapid pace this summer.

  • Kimberly Oyler - okay these are the cutest.

  • Jenn - Debbie Gipson. tiffany, mixed tapes. love this post. your girls are so cute. love them jammin out.
    Wilson Phillips, vanilla fields (the 80s and early 90s) :)

  • Carrie Rowe - They are adorable and now I have Electric Youth stuck in my head, ha!

  • Diana - Love this! And totally agree on the pictures of technology. And cars too. When bringing our son home from the hospital I have a picture of my husband carrying him in with our car behind him. Someday that will be fun to look back on.

  • jenny newell - how adorable :) i have some music loving little girls. we got them a karaoke machine and a frozen disc…. oh my goodness they love it so much… and it is so sweet watching them sing. i really like the idea of the headphones though… that equals happy girls… and also peace and quiet :)

  • Avenlea - Aww! Can you post a video of them singing? I would love to hear their sweet voices :)

  • Angela - What kind of stuff do they listen to? I’m asking out of curiosity because I teach preschool and sometimes run out of stuff to play for them, outside the normal (aka the Frozen soundtrack).

  • Ashley - Ashley, how do you get such great white balance? I have the same camera as you, the 6D, and I’ve taken your class a few years ago. I just can’t seem to figure out a good white balance for indoors.

Take a picture. It will last longer.

This I find to be true with just about any and all pretty organization I accomplish in my home.

We start back in our regular school routine next week, which means I got to stock up on new school supplies. Organizing school supplies makes me really happy, even if the pretty doesn’t last long.  A couple of years ago I bought an old bread baking tin (pretty sure that is not the correct name, but you get the picture). I spray painted it white and put art supplies in it. I decided to give it a another facelift and add some buckets for more order.



The buckets are from IKEA. I wish I had I bought 4 more. Next visit. A little spray paint and I was done. Yay for spray paint.8.14supplies-028.14supplies-038.14supplies-058.14supplies-06

I like being able to move all the supplies to the table at one time or just a bucket. Anything to bring more order and simplicity to our days is welcomed by me!

I took a picture. It will last longer.

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  • Lisa | Winter Heights - Haha, I so love this. Happy new school year!

  • the inadvertent farmer - We start next week too! Organizing is not my thing but I have also learned after years and years of homeschooling that a neat well organized school space is key to my sanity! Now the rest of the house all bet are off… Kim

  • Amanda - It’s called a strap loaf pan, and I can’t resist well organized art supplies. cute idea!

  • christina larsen - I Love organization!!! It makes me smile. I also love the buckets. I may have to add them to my Ikea list. Hoping to go sometime in Oct. Good luck with school. We started Challenge this week. 1st seminar is today, hoping my little man does well.

  • Emily - Oh, I do love a good organization project. That’s so pretty!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I completely agree! There is not much better than a freshly sharpened pencil.

  • carrie - Ha Ha! I have never heard that before; but truly, taking a picture will last longer! Have fun with homeschooling – what a joy and privilege it is to our family.

  • Shannon - Your supplies and school area make me want to homeschool my kid! :-)

  • jenny - excellent idea! i love it when you share ideas like this :) organizing school supplies makes me happy too. there is nothing like a bunch of brand new crayons next to freshly sharpened pencils ;)

  • elizabeth H - OH this makes me ALL KINDS OF HAPPY!!!

  • Brittany Fry - This is so cute and I love the color you chose!!! I love organized craft supplies!!!

  • danielle - That is so cute! Hobby Lobby has a lot of buckets and stuff usually. That is where I get mine.

  • Carrie Rowe - I want to live in this room.

  • Danielle - Your blog is such a happy place to come! Thank you so much for sharing! My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but I often find myself racing with my laptop to show him your blog and pictures. Your blog always serves as a reminder to be grateful for our present and to be excited about what is to come. Thanks, Ashley! You inspire me to keep blogging our story.

  • SedaSD - It looks very pretty. But do you need those many pens and pencils even for 5 kids? I find that the fewer we have of anything and everything around the house, the tidier and much organized are we.

    I also find that when we have too many supplies and stuff around, it’s harder for the kids to concentrate on something. But again, it sure looks very pretty!

  • Rebecca - I love this! I just did something similar. I had a wire holder that used to hold tempura paint. I busted out the spray paint and covered some tin cans in scrap book paper. Eight little spots to hold pencils, scissors crayons, etc.!

Before we left Colorado, I thought we should take advantage of all those yellow rose petals from the vow renewal. The boys didn’t want them, but I knew a little girl that would be pretty excited to throw them in the air. I grabbed a hanging planter (picked up from IKEA on a quick stop in Denver) and filled it with the petals. We were staying in a home with a beautiful view, so that made it easy. From there I told her she could throw them however she wanted. She chose to stand on a tall tree stump, began singing songs she made up and delighted herself in the fun of it all.

8.14CO5-018.14CO5-028.14CO5-048.14CO5-058.14CO5-06“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

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  • Jennifer - Absolutely beautiful.

  • Debbie - She has such a beautiful spirit.

  • danielle - These are precious!

  • rachelzana - I love these pictures! This was such a good idea!

  • Anna @ A Good Home - My goodness, that last picture is one of the most perfect I’ve ever seen. Her face, the petals, the mountains…so beautiful.

  • Michelle Hill - She is your mini me! I wish I could hear the lyrics to her songs. they must be inspired by thoughts of innocence, beauty and happiness.

  • Jenny L. - So precious and so Sound of Music-like. First thing I thought of.

  • Bird - This pics are beautiful… wonderful ideas! I could imagine it for weddings or birthdays too!

    Love from Germany and the -fatcatconnection-

  • Jenny - So sweet!!! :)

  • Angela - I am in awe, of how you document everyday tasks so stunningly. Your road trips pics were so beautiful, that even though I stay on the otherside of your world in Kuwait, I just wanted to rev up the car and take the similar route you did. You are blessed. Thank you for sharing your passion with us.

  • Mary J - You can feel her exuberance through the screen.

    PS: I would love to know your Fstop on the last photo, I am working on my photography and having a hard time getting action shots in focus with a shallow depth of field.

  • Kate Blehar - Beautiful! I am a loyal reader of your blog and fellow lover of photography. I couldn’t believe it when I saw your post today because I took a series of pictures of my little girl just last night throwing up rose petals. It was my daughters idea and when she saw the pictures, she exclaimed that she “looked like a rose fairy with powers to suspend petals in the air.”

    Photography is magic. ;-)

    I attached the photos here, but not sure if they will show up.


    Many thanks for your blog and for inspiring me to live a full, creative life with my family.

  • Molly Quigley - Ya made my day, woman. Thanks.

  • Julie - Delightful!!! She’s a cutie for sure!

  • kimberly oyler - you are a good mama. what a treasure these are.

  • Michelle - This post makes me heart smile. Beautiful on so man levels. :-)

  • Seamingly Sarah - That last one is just perfect!

  • Heather - I just love your photos and had to share with you that we ordered a print from Katie Daisy with the Laura Ingalls Wilder quote on it. My girls love Little House and it is hanging in our kitchen with a few family photos. Thanks for the inspirational pictures…they really get my creative juices flowing when I pick up my camera.

  • Laura S. - Laura Ingalls Wilder…my favorite author of all time. While on an 8 hour drive with my Dad and brother in the backseat, I read the biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder outloud to my Dad. He loved it.

    Firecracker needs to go into acting classes. The way she holds herself is incredible. Look at her hands! So poised.

  • Izzy - These photos are just so beautiful, and I love that quote!

  • Natalie - I love the joy you captured on her face! And the beautiful view isn’t too shabby either. :)

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Dear Firecracker – you did such a great job! I’m smiling all the way in Arizona!

  • elizabeth H - {LOVE} her joy filled spirit & the way she delights in life!!

  • victoria - haven’t checked your blog in a while. this pic of your sweet girl – she looks so grown up!

  • Treva Super - Ashley! I’ve spent some time catching up with you through your blog tonight. I love seeing all the pretty pictures and hearing the Lord’s work in your life, woven throughout all the commentary!!!!Love you, old friend. -Treva