Two extra boys were running around my house. When there are extra boys, we make cookies. Needless to say, we make cookies A LOT! The boys had been over for less than twenty minutes when she started getting out the cookie supplies. She was determined to get baking whether I was ready or not.

cookies-01The boys kept running through the kitchen asking, “Are the cookies ready yet?” She kept telling them, “Not yet.”

Eventually, they were ready and she got out the cake stand in preparation to share her cookies.cookies-03cookies-06Walking around the house, inside and outside, looking for the boys…cookies-07The rain started back up, so she had all the boys line up outside the window. One by one, she told them the cookies were free, but they needed to say “please” and “thank you”. She limited the boys to ‘2 cookies per boy’. Eventually, her cake stand was empty. She called out, “My shop is closing now.” Then she shut the window, pulled the curtains, and smiled up at me. Goodness this girl – she is delightful.cookies-08In a couple of years she will be a teenager. In a couple of years, my house will be full of extra teenage boys (at least I hope so!)….I have all kinds of thoughts about what is to come! For now, I’ll just keep baking cookies with her and celebrating that my boys have pretty terrific friends.

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  • Bevy @ treasured up and pondered - Love this…

    The cookies look divine… I loved the please and thank you’s for payment!! Clever girl!! :)

    Recipe please???

  • Ashley - Cutest ever :) :)

  • Natalie - Love this post! I had older brother and he always had friends over. The cookies look AMAZING!

  • Shannon@Heart...Captured - Oh my cuteness! LOOOOVE.

  • AndreaB - This is just the best! She has so much character. I love that there was also a change of clothes involved too :)

  • Jenn - great post
    love the picture of her serving then through the window. so great.

  • Carol - She really is an amazing girl. Good job Ashley

  • Karen - So perfect!! Nothing better than fresh chocolate chip cookies!

  • Stephanie George - I love this. I can see my five year old daughter playing out this exact scenario. So cute!

  • Rae - WOW WOW WOW!! Great Job, FireCracker! :)

  • Kimberly oyler - she is a beauty.

  • AshleyAnn - Andrea – there is always a change of clothes involved! She was jumping on the trampoline in the rain in the first outfit :)

  • Stephanie - love this!! would you mind sharing your cookie recipe? always searching for a good one…

  • keely - Hey Ashley, will you please share where you got the chair that Firecracker is standing on? Love it!!

  • - I love your work. There’s no question about you enjoying what you do; it shows. I really like the angle you got of her serving the cookies through the window.

  • AshleyAnn - Keely – They are from Joss & Main

  • Kate - Hi Ashley. Are you willing to share your receipe??

6.15splahpad-01My dad celebrated his 45th high school reunion over the weekend. We joined my parents for the family picnic. One of my dad’s friends brought pictures from their 20th reunion, when they had a small get together at my parents’ house. I am three years away from my 20th high school reunion. What?! My parent’s were pretty close to my age in those old pictures. I was the age of my oldest. Growing up is just strange. A good strange, but strange nonetheless!

It has been a while since we visited a splash pad. We used to go all the time during the summer because it was easier than going to a swimming pool with lots of littles. These days, we just swim.

85mm, ISO 100, 1/800, f/2.8 ~ 85mm, ISO 100, 1/640, f/2.8

6.15splahpad-0285mm, ISO 100, 1/1000, f/2.86.15splahpad-04

Their favorite aspect of the park was the dumping buckets. I kept watching them and thinking about all the times Chris and I would race over to rescue them as toddlers before the dumping water knocked them over. Now they were pushing and holding eachother while laughing the whole time. I think next time I need to join them.

85mm, ISO 100, 1/1250, f/2.8 ~ 85mm, ISO 100, 1/1250, f/2.86.15splahpad-0585mm, ISO 100, 1/2000, f/2.8 ~ 85mm, ISO 100, 1/1250, f/2.86.15splahpad-0785mm, ISO 100, 1/1600, f/2.8 ~ 85mm, ISO 100, 1/1000, f/2.86.15splahpad-09Summer is my favorite. Spring is a close second. Fall and winter require too many layers!


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  • Southern Gal - I’m with you. This growing up thing is very strange.

    Around here spring and fall are the best seasons. Summer is fun, but it’s beating us up with hot, humid days. If you don’t have some type of water around you have to stay inside!

  • Kayla - Your little’s swim suit is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen! Boy shorts? Stripes? The cutest!

  • Jen - Ah, sometimes I wish I lived across the pond with you guys – UK, especially in the north is so not summer yet!!

  • AshleyAnn - Southern Gal – I am sure most in Oklahoma feel the same as you!!

  • Danielle - My boys love the dumping buckets! They really like that park as well :)

  • Candace Barbee - Looks like fun! Where is this splash pad?

  • Jenny - Your pictures always turn out awesome! I haven’t used my 85mm lately, but after seeing these I’m going to. :)


Thank you for supporting The Love Project through purchasing prints, generous donations and spreading the word. We are making a difference for families…for orphan prevention, family preservation. So far we have raised around $10,200! It is a beautiful amount, but the need is so great. Surgeries are so costly and we are dreaming of helping so many families. We are grateful for your continual support!

For more information on the project, click here.

For those that would like updates on the teeny little guy that received surgery last week, Morning Star and Meredith will be posting updates on Instagram ( @morningstarproject @meredithtoering )

flourishIn the midst of the excitement of launching The Love Project last week, we also squeezed in family pictures. My sweet friends Shannon and Amy spent a HOT Oklahoma night with us in our field. I will post more later (when I get them!), but for now….eeekkk! (Photo by Imago Vita Photography)

CampbellTravesmlWe really only took a couple ‘posed’ shots, the rest were just candid moments. I wanted a few of me with my camera – it will be something my kids always remember about me, but I have very few pictures showing it. I took this shot in the middle of our shoot. They were working on a plan to throw popcorn at me. I love the way she looks at her oldest brother.

6.15balloons-01The girls were very expressive about how much they liked the balloons in the pictures they saw from Be Crafty. Shop Sweet Lulu sent me a few for our family shoot! This girl played with them for days. I think she actually liked them better as they began to deflate!6.15balloons-026.15balloons-03Thank you again for all your support of The Love Project last week and in the week’s to come!

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  • Debbie C - Wow…God is good! So thankful for all the children and families that will be saved through this project. Also, your family is beautiful. I remember when Firecracker wore that dress for her 2-year pictures!

  • Rae - SO BEAUTIFUL! <3