Sometimes I have lots of little random things I want to share or post as a reminder…it is easier to do it all at once. So, today is a random day of those things!


The Totally Rad Actions giveaway ends today

$150 gift card to Totally Rad Actions

Giveaway ends Friday, September 25th, 2015 at 5:00pm

To enter leave a comment on Monday’s post



Last week I posted about my friends’ opening Restore House. Well, this week I dropped by to check out how things were going as they prepare for the opening next week. It is so amazing! It is my new favorite store and it isn’t even open yet. I’m so giddy about it. I took a few sneak peeks to share. They are going to serve coffee too. I’ve decided I’m going to randomly show up in the store kitchen to work there instead of trying to accomplish any computer related task at home with 5 wild animals. Seriously, if you go shopping and there is a lady in the kitchen that has made herself at home – its me. Jaime is too nice to kick me out anyway.

Restore House Friends & Family Night

September 30th, 5-9pm | 924 S. Main St., Broken Arrow, OKΒ  74012

I’ll be there at 5pm. I might pitch a tent on the sidewalk before it opens. If you are there and see me, please say ‘hi!’.


Remember the paint party I did back in July? This weekend I am part of hosting a giveaway with DecoArt for a paint party for 6. The giveaway is a ’round robin’ on instagram with a few other bloggers that have done art parties. You’ll have to visit my instagram page later today for how to enter.


flourishLastly, Chris just saw that Compassion International is hosting a Compassion Experience in Tulsa at the end of October. It is an interactive tour of life in the developing world. We’ve never been before, but have heard great things from others. The event is free, but you do have to register to reserve your time spot. If you are near the Tulsa area, you might want to check it out.

compassionMy dad recently retired (YAY DAD!!!). This means he has more time. I’m actually not sure he has more free time, but I’m deciding he does. I have some projects for him…wood. white paint. tile. floor sander. Unfortunately his retirement coincides with my busy SnapShop season, so I don’t have much spare time. I’m hoping this weekend we can sync schedules and have a little project fun.

Have a great weekend!

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  • Charity G. - We took our boys to the Compassion experience where we live. I think it was a good experience and definitely gave our boys a new perspective.

    If only I lived in OK I’d be there for your friend’s store opening. The sneak peek pictures you took were awesome!

  • ADVICE FROM A COP - My SIL lives in Tulsa–she might be interested in this. Thanks for the info!

  • kimberly oyler - i might have to drive down for that compassion experience. hmmm…

I shared my updated chalkboard on Instagram this week, but goodness…I’m a blogger at heart. I wanted to share it here with more of the story.

I sent my sister a text last week asking her to sketch out “I want to be a hummingbird in a world of buzzards.” I thought just maybe if she sketched it, I could attempt to copy it on my chalkboard.

Well, being the ever-thoughtful sister I am, I asked my VERY pregnant sister to come watch my 5 kids for a few hours.

I did ask, but I also told my kids they were supposed to babysit their 3 year old niece and tell Aunt Lesley to lay on the couch and read magazines. Instead of laying on the couch, she surprised me when I got home…


In my original text, I explained to Lesley the words were from my notes from church. An illustration was shared about how a buzzard spends all day looking and finding dead things. A hummingbird spends all day looking and finding sweet things. Both exist everyday. What is found depends on what is sought. What you find is a matter of what you are looking for…

“Whoever diligently seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.” Proverbs 11:27

9.15hummingbird-02Our house is full and active and there are lots of emotions going on all the time. With 7 people sharing a space, there are our fair share of arguments and looking for dead things instead of sweet things. After hearing this illustration, I sat the kids down and we talked about it. We talked about what that looks like practically in our family, in our home.

Now, it is written in the living room. A reminder that we want to be hummingbirds. We want to train our eyes to search after and find the sweet things in life. I figure the chalkboard won’t make sense to others when they visit, which provides a great opportunity for the kids (and me) to explain it.9.15hummingbird-03

Today, we are going to be hummingbirds.


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  • Mac - Beautiful and inspirational

  • Southern Gal - This is fantastic. The message, the art, the chance to share with others…all of it!

  • Belinda - Thanks so much for sharing more as when I saw it on IG I couldn’t quite work out what the message was all about! Powerful message and one to definitely remember!

  • Paige E - I just LOVE that illustration!

  • Emily - I just love this!

  • Holly - What a great sister!

  • Kristi - I love this! Is there a podcast of the sermon? I would love to listen!

  • Dena - This is awesome!

  • karen brown - adore this! and especially that you’ll need to explain it to all who ask. brilliant!

  • Ranee - I love this…of course Lesley’s work is her usual beautiful, but the illustration is such a good one and so true. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah - Oh goodness, I love this!!

  • Diana - Fantastic reminder!

  • Rose - Love this!

  • Luisa - I love this and you for sharing. I rarely comment…mostly because I am quickly skimming my favorite blogs. However, this post I just wanted you to know that I loved and I thank you for spreading your positivity into this world.

  • Kate - Great message! What a wonderful word picture for training our minds, taking thoughts captive and being thankful for what been given. I will use this with my kids. Thanks for sharing!

  • Katie T - Every time I see the beautiful messages you and your sister create on chalkboards I always wonder what kind of chalk you are using. Nothing I do with regular chalkboard chalk ever looks half as nice and the chalkboard markers are beyond frustrating! Is there a secret?

  • AshleyAnn - Katie – it is plain ole’ regular chalk. Mine were all little broken pieces and she still created that art!

  • Tania - I love this quote and the meaning behind it. I so needed to hear that. I’ve been feeling pretty down about how things aren’t how I want them to be, lots of negativity, and I’ve recently tried changing my attitude. I need that bible verse hanging up. Beautiful art work too, by the way. Your sister is so talented!

  • Jill Stansell - This is beautiful! Would you sister have any created to sell? I love her artwork with this and it is an awesome reminder.

  • Katie - Where did you get your couch! I love it –

  • AshleyAnn - Katie – my dad built it :)

  • Sara W - I love this illustration so much! I’ve already shared it so many times. It was so timely for my week. Thank you!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I know I already commented on your Instagram post, but my goodness, I just love this. So much truth and beauty!

Nose Stuck In A Book.

9.15climb-01While at the lake, my oldest told me he had an idea for a picture. I pretty much always listen to my kids’ picture ideas. I often get asked how my kids feel about my camera and always being the subject of my photos. For the most part, they really don’t even notice anymore. One way I try to encourage their ‘okay-ness’ with my camera is by encouraging their ideas for photos. I also let them use my camera (my involvement depends on the age of the kid asking to use it).

My oldest had an idea. I stopped what I was doing, grabbed my camera and followed him. He had a plastic bag with a book and cookies inside it. I was already smiling.




Up a tree with a book. The most perfect picture of him.

When he came down, he smiled and told me I could post the pictures to my blog if I wanted to:)

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  • Sarah - Ahhhh that last sentence. He gets you! :) And I love those pictures!

  • Tanya - What a gorgeous idea for a photo! :-)

  • Katie - What an awesome idea! Also: he is brave to climb up that tree! (Of course, I don’t do heights, so… I’m impressed!)

  • Michelle - I love this picture. I have a question. How did you delete the other tree? Thank you!

  • C - I read your blog. Always. But I never comment. I showed this picture to my 6 year old son this morning. He is on the verge of reading. Some days he gets it, some days he doesn’t. He is starting to become really frustrated with himself because he is desperate to eat books at libraries and learn about the world, but finds it hard to stop racing around, getting muddy and climbing trees. When I showed him this book he joyfully declared “I knew you could climb a tree AND read a book”! He is inspired to keep trudging at learning while still being a kid πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing.

  • Melanie - I am just really curious about those trees…how in the world did they grow like that?

  • Rae - OMG, that is so sweet! amazing photos! <3

  • Rae - @Michelle.
    i think she just angled it so both the trees looked like one :)

  • Ranee - awesome.

  • michelle - I wonder if he knows just how awesome that picture really is! I am three times his age and would be terrified of being that high on a tree…let alone reading that high on a tree, haha!
    Cheers, mate!

  • Kate - I love this so much! These photos and this story made me smile from ear to ear! What an amazing son you have!

  • Sarah - Love This!

  • Lacey Meyers - Oh, I love this! What a fabulous idea he had, and that tree is awesome! It is so cool to see our passions merge with our kiddos’, too. :)

  • beth ann - How fun!!

  • Donna - Nothing to do with today’s blog. I saw a great idea that would work for you. Have a piece (or two ) of glass cut for your table, the kids could use erasable pens to do their work eliminating a lot of paper. Just like a big blackboard. Just a thought

  • Sundee - OMG…a timeless photo of his youth. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that on canvas hanging in the boys’ room!! I love it.

  • carrie - So, how did you get two scraggly trees to look like one full tree? Are they lined up with different perspective, or is it just one tree? That last photo is spectacular. Your son had a great idea!

  • Lynn - I love this photo!! Your son came up with a great idea!!

  • Sharla - The picture is amazing! He had a great idea

  • Ethel White - He was right, what great idea. I’m glad you made the pic. It will be an awesome memory for both of you.

  • Dena - What a creative mind… comes from his mother I think :) and what a gorgeous picture. that needs to be on a big canvas I think.

  • Jessica - Amazing shots to go along with amazing memories. You have great kids!

  • Meg - What a great kid. That has to be one of your favorite photos of him! I love when I capture not only a great photo, but a moment and a story. I need to get better at photography so I can do that more often. :)

  • Emily | Gather & Dine - That is the sweetest thing, Ashley! Thanks to you, I’ve kept this in mind as I take pictures with the kids and it’s made such a difference.

  • Cassidy - These pictures make me happy. (:

  • Kathie M. - Such a perfect shot and idea…very him!! I love it!

  • julie - Grinning ear-to-ear here! What a feel good post! Very creative photo, too!

  • RJ - Did he decide the first tree wasn’t picturesque enough? Lol. What a great idea!

  • Emily - I love it! Such a great shot. :-)

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - So much awesome.

  • AshleyAnn - The angle is confusing on that picture. The trees are actually stacked. The tree he did not climb is directly in front of the tree he did climb!

  • AshleyAnn - Carrie – The angle is confusing on that picture. The trees are actually stacked. The tree he did not climb is directly in front of the tree he did climb!

  • Brittany - THIS. This is why I am so grateful to a snatched up a spot in your final snapshops! Already spotting the use of lines and thirds in these!

  • Kirsten J - Seriously cool. Am I the only one who wants to know what book he’s reading?

  • ajira - Absolutely loved this post. One of my faves ever and I’ve been reading your blog for a while. πŸ˜€ What a great photo of this time, and how awesome that it was your son’s idea for himself. Just loving everything about this! πŸ˜€

  • Tanya - Love this! Great thinking on his part and great job of getting different angles on your part! You should blow it up big and hang it! Tell him thanks for letting you share it. :)

  • Cathy - If this isnΒ΄t the most amazing picture!!! Definately one to frame and hang over his bed!

  • Krystina - I just love these photos. They bring back memories of my childhood. I was always the kid in my family that you could find in the most interesting positions with my nose in a book.

  • mary m - What a sweet boy, and such a wonderful Mom to respond so well to
    his request.
    Just curious why that tree is in the water like that?…most trees don’t survive long with their roots so soaked.
    Thanks for sharing.
    mm,vancouver wa.

  • Ingrid - Love this :)

  • Lisa - Beautiful!

  • ADVICE FROM A COP - Gotta admit, that was a pretty awesome idea for a picture. =)

  • Carla - What a perfect place to read a book and an awesome idea for a shot. I love his thinking :)

  • Karen - This is absolutely perfect!