feeding the ducks

You guys are an encouraging group…thanks for your comments and emails yesterday. My little flower pots are awaiting plants and then they will be at home in the playroom. That was an addicting project…so much I could Mod Podge, so little time. Anyway…

Another summer activity my kids enjoy is feeding the ducks at Rhema (a local Bible college). Rhema has a great park that is open to the public. If you go in the morning it is usually empty. That means if you have 4 kids they can run all over the place while you either chase them with a camera or sit on a bench and enjoy an iced coffee.

On this particular morning I chose to chase them with my camera and 85mm lens.

ISO 100, 1/1000, f/3.2

She was still a bit unsteady and slow on her feet, so I took her baby walker stroller.

ISO 100, 1/1000, f/3.2 6.7.11-2

He is such a great big brother. He passed out the bread while she sneaked in bites. Her dress is from The Tea Collection. I won it last year thanks to blog readers tipping me off on a facebook photo contest.

ISO 100, 1/125, f/4.0; ISO 100, 1/1250, f/

ISO 100, 1/2500, f/3.2

She is kissing the baby, not attacking it.

ISO 100, 1/125, f/

The thing about parks is I typically can only get the back of heads. One day I will look back at all the pictures I have of my kids from behind and it will bring me back to these days of chasing them.

ISO 100,Β  1/250, f/3.2 6.7.11-7

She may be a bit slower these days, but she is every bit as determined to keep up with the boys as she was before.

ISO 100, 1/250, f/3.2, ISO 100, 1/2500, f/

Playing hide and seek….the benefit of having a entire park to ourselves.

ISO 100, 1/125, f/4.0

Her big brothers started teaching her how to ‘quack’ like a duck. We have our days that are rough, exhausting and hard, but looking at these reminds me I am living the dream.

ISO 100, 1/125, f/

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • ryanne - Absolutely, freaking adorable!

  • Desiree - Your kids are so precious! I love the love we can see between them in your photos!

  • angie webb - I’m in the position to only have one child so I live vicariously through yours. Must be amazing. Not that mine isn’t with one. My daughter is my biggest dream come true. I just wish she had siblings to share it with.

  • RachelC - Living the dream….I LOVE it! And, I love that dress.

  • Sarah @ Handbags*N*Pigtails - What a fun morning! My house is full this week(four kids as opposed to my usual two) as Im kidsitting for a few weeks. Ive got a 4 yrd old girl, 5 yr old girl, 7 yr old girl and 8 yrd old boy. Im glad that they can entertain each other. We’re looking forward to some morning trips to the playground and such before it gets really hot.
    Oh! And my FreshStyle Magazine arrived yesterday. I cannot tell you how much I love it…since Id never heard of it before you told us you were in it, is it a regular, monthly mag? Or just something that comes out every now and then? I may need to subscribe. Its great!

  • lindsey - your pictures just make me want to hang out with your kids. they look like such an entertaining and energetic bunch – no wonder you are so thin!! πŸ™‚ And I’m so proud of FireCracker!

  • Carrie - You have a beautiful family! Looks like it was a great day!

  • allison - it’s so good to take a moment and appreciate the little things – thanks for the reminder!

  • Robyn Farmer - Love the second to last pic!

  • Mirys from Brazil - Dear Ashley!

    You have been such an inspiration for me, that I made a post about it (inspiring photographers) and I mentioned you.
    If you are not OK with that, just let me know, please!

    ItΒ΄s here! http://diariodos3mosqueteiros.blogspot.com/2011/06/aumente-o-seu-arquivo-visual-diario-da.html

    Kisses and blessings.

  • Jess - The last two pictures of Breese with her brothers are precious. What great big brothers she has!!

  • BLP - Wow! Awesomeness on every level.

  • Carrie - gosh… just read your post one more time. wonderful, just wonderful. I totally understand what you mean about the MOD PODGE… I spent an entire summer 2 years ago mod podging anything in sight.

    My favorite quote of this post was and why I came back to read this again was “We have our days that are rough, exhausting and hard, but looking at these reminds me I am living the dream.” I think this is why I connect to your blog and to you. I love that even in the toughest of days, I can come here and be reminded, I too am living the dream :)Thanks again for an awesome post momma!

  • Jenny Joy - We have four children as well. I FREQUENTLY remind myself that there are a lot of people that would do just about anything for my life (even though it’s sometimes hard to remember in the moment.)
    And YAY for the backs of heads! That just means they’re having fun!

  • Sarah - love it! i know about those rough days-and i only have 1! i can only imagine 4 but that also means you have 4 times the love and FUN!! i work full time and hate it. i want to work part time so i can spend more time with my little guy; seeing your posts with your kids keeps me inspired to make that dream come true.

  • Shawna Rae - Most certainly ‘living the dream’… that’s what life should be all about. Love it!

  • Jen - I just love everything about this post. Thanks for reminding me to just be happy in the moment.

  • Amanda - Oh my goodness. The “quack like a duck” pictures are priceless! I still act silly with my brother, and I just know that they are going to cherish these moments πŸ™‚

  • Sarah - Big Brothers are the Best! She will never have to worry about any boys picking on her.

  • tara pollard pakosta - what a gorgeous little family you have!
    they are all so beautiful!!!
    and it reminds me of me and my sister when we were little, we had 5 older brothers and we constantly had to try and keep up with them all!!! LOVE this post!

  • Emmy A - I love that picture of big brothers teaching little sister. So sweet.

  • Charity - I love those last two shots of all the kids. Firecracker’s faces are wonderful (and she looks absolutely adorable in that dress and those shoes). Thanks for reminding me that, even though it can be frustrating or tiring, it is living the dream to be at home with the children.

  • Alice H - gosh, your kids are so cute! how close in age are the 2 younger boys?

  • amber - They are adorable. And they look like a ton of fun;)…yay for summer! Thanks for sharing.

  • Anna - Awww, I love watching siblings play! It’s the greatest. Her dress is super cute too!

  • Lesley - Lovin the chicken dance!

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators - Every time I see pics of your kids I end up wishing I was a little girl with three big brothers to watch out for her and teach her things. You have a beautiful family.

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators - Every time I see pics of your kids I end up wishing I was a little girl with three big brothers to watch out for her and teach her things. So much love in these photos!

  • Jenny B. - Oh, I needed to read this today. That little bit at the end about them teaching her to quack… I’ve been struggling with my 2yo yelling, “no!” at me all day long, and it certainly does not feel like I’m living the dream at those times. πŸ™‚

  • giozi - what effusive is your chubby hahaha. And I see your older child relally long looks he will be tall

  • amy jupin - indeed.
    and your family is adorable.

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag - My daughter just walked by and saw your daughter’s pictures and said,”OH WHAT A CUTE BABY!!! Whose baby is that?” I think she thinks we should know everyone I ever see on a blog, that’s a confusing concept for kids don’t you think? I just adore seeing your amazing photography and beautiful family!! Aloha, Melissa

  • Bekki - I remember reading an article about a woman who was going through boxes of photos of her children growing up. In it she found hundreds of photos all taken from behind. She ended up creating an entire scrapbook album from those photos. It was such a neat idea that I still make sure to take photos from behind, even when mine actually stand still.

  • katie p. - You totally said it, “I am living the dream.” That is it. I love when I am able to see that for myself. it is such a beautiful thing. Tickles my ears! πŸ™‚

  • Mirys from Brazil - Ashley:

    You have a very unique way of seing life!
    And YES, itΒ΄s worthy and you are living the dream!

    So glad I, once, found this blog!!!

    Kisses and blessings.
    from Brazil

  • Michelle - I just finished a mod podge project and feel exactly the same! Yesterday I came home with 3 new things I can bring to new life πŸ™‚ Thanks for so many inspiring posts! I always find myself feeling touched and a bit teary after reading your words about life and family.

  • Chelsea - I must have missed the “unveiling”… So glad to see your little one is no longer in a cast, woo hoo!!

  • Alison - Ohh yes I have lots of back of heads shots. Sometimes I’m tempted to just yell FIRE to get a bit of face. Maybe CANDY would be better.

  • Moriah - I agree with you on the photos of the back of their heads. I also get the action shots which are just big blurs. I don’t delete all of them because I want to remember when they never stood still. Love your post!! Enjoy the sunshine.

  • Emma - Great post! I love the picture of your little girl kissing the doll. My daughter (23 months) just started loving on her dolls and its so cute to see. Great picture of her big brothers teaching her how to “quack”!!!

  • Christina - Thank you for this post today. It was an exhausting morning, tough getting my two children down for naps, then cleaned up the mess of toys everywhere … I was looking at everything so negatively today and your post is helping change my perspective. The photo of the four of them makes me want to have more children!

  • Jules - I am so jealous of your FREE park to run and play and feed ducks. You’ve inspired me to get creative with my summer fun and find some places in around here to wear my kiddos out.

  • Stephanie F - Love that park. I attend Rhema Bible Church and am about to start school there this fall I love that they put that park in. We frequently go there to feed the ducks and turtles with our girls.

  • cynthia - Love this post. I’m constantly chasing behind my kids and they’re teens. They are so over me photographing them. As they state, “We now know what celebs feel like with the paparazzi.” ~Proud Mamarazzi πŸ™‚

  • sarah j - adorable. love it. ps biggest brother is getting so tall!

  • Emily - <3

  • Tonya - Your posts are such a blessing to me. At the risk of sounding like a crazy blog-stalker, your words spur me on to be a better mom. Thank you for letting us be flies on your family walls πŸ™‚

  • Cindy - You have the cutest kids!

  • the whyte house - rhema!!! ah, it’s been so long since i’ve seen it! my mom went to school there and graduated in ’97. we use to love all of the christmas lights out there!

    so glad to see firecracker walking around w her brothers again!

  • Ellen @ Black and White and Loved All Over - I love these pictures of your kids! Makes me want a big family. πŸ™‚

  • Scott@My Photo Adventures - Wow, what a great series of photos. So well done.

  • Maureen - Every time I see pictures of your kids I smile because I have 3 older brothers. But drum role please… I also have 2 younger ones.
    Yes, I was a “Firecracker” with boys all around me. I always wanted a sister but have learned to appreciate the fact that I grew up with brothers. It does make you one tough cookie…

  • Alison - Gosh, your kids are adorable! πŸ™‚ When you wrote about them growing up & you looking back on their pictures I got a little choked up. My boys are 2 & 3 1/2, and lately I’ve been realizing how very quickly time flies by. It makes me very sad, but also makes me determined to cherish every moment.

  • Irene - Love reading your blog, as you always give a message for us to reflect on our lives. Indeed, you’re living the dream πŸ™‚

  • Janine - Okay, that first picture is just the most adorable thing ever. It looks like a Norman Rockwell scene. Perfection! Your kids are adorable. I love your daughter’s dress too.

  • Jolaine - Your kids are so adorable! It’s very apparent that you are a great mom! Love your amazing pictures! If you don’t mind me asking, what camera and lens did you use? I’m thinking of getting a new camera and I think I need yours!

  • Bethany - Hi! Found your site through ‘a case of the mundays’…I love your daughter’s baby doll! Is it homemade or is there somewhere I can get one like it?

  • StarHughes - Your photography is absolutely amazing. It is so neat that you’re able to document all these moments with your kids to look back on when they’re older! And how great that they’re online and so easy to access too. All of my childhood pictures are tucked away in photo albums and very hard to share unless I had the time to scan each picture into the computer individually!

  • gkey - dear Creative Smile,

    I don’t always comment, but I do enjoy every post. You have a wonderful gift…acutally a whole lot of them: the best of which is your beautiful family. I especially enjoyed your remark of being reminded that you are ‘living the dream’. I feel that same way about my life too, and often say it.

    The dream Life

  • Christina G - Ashley, I just love that baby doll! Where did you get it from?