I FINALLY got to babysit Sweet P!!!! She spent a day at the crazy house with 4 cousins that are quite smitten with her and an aunt totally taken by her. It was a good day. One little cousin, in particular, is quite fond of Sweet P.

It was brought to my attention that in all my raving about Hawaii I need to be a bit nicer to Oklahoma. So in honor of Oklahoma – T-Town to be specific – Sweet P & FireCracker are giving a little shout out. I’m a proud Okie, after all.

Sweet P’s mom made her headband, FireCracker’s is from Lou & Lee; the leggies on both girls are from Tweet Baby

He tried so hard to get her to laugh. She was totally not interested in this routine.

She did like this one. He is really great with babies…guess that happens when you are the oldest.

I really love this picture. He is so sweet to her. I wonder what they’ll be like at 14 & 16.

She was either tired or still practicing the karate moves the boys taught her.

For those of you ready for a diy post…I’ll have one tomorrow.

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  • Holly - Sweet, sweet, sweet! These pics are amazing. You did such a beautiful job but I’ll bet it’s hard to get a bad pic with these adorable kids.

  • Amy - are those… wait for it… leg warmers FireCracker is wearing?!? Luvvvvv it!

  • giozi - It seems that your children want a new sister, You know that you must to do. he he he

  • Jodi - These are absolutely adorable!! Hey, and you got a good practice with a house of 5….how did that feel?? :)

  • giozi - OHh tomorrow a diy Yeahhhhhhh
    Today I’m doing craft,all day, cut, paste, and more :)

  • Ashley - Oh Sweet P is getting cuter and cuter!! I absolutely love her headband and the onesie (rainbow?) she was wearing. Any thoughts on where they came from? :o)

  • Ashley - Scratch that, I just read where the headband is from. Obviously I skimmed the photos first, fail!

  • RachelC - Sweet P couldn’t be any cuter!! In that picture where littlest brother is giving her a kiss, she looks just like Lesley! Also……LOVE those I heart Tulsa onesies with the leg warmers!! Too cute! Rah Oklahoma!!

  • Danielle - My boys love there little cousin also! So cute!

  • Shannon{photos by shannon} - So sweet! I can’t wait for my niece to come, my kids are going to love her. Any day now, she might get induced tomorrow!! YAY!

  • Cate O'Malley - Love the pics – too cute! I think the onesie is from Carters. I actually bought a much smaller size for my daughter. She’s obsessed with rainbows so I cut t=out the rainbow and sewed it on another shirt for her. It was on the clearance rack a few months ago, so might be hard to find.

  • Lesley - Love these! Sweet P had an awesome time at her autie’s – she told us all about it. Love the one of Biggest brother with his shirt over his head and Littlest brother loving on her. Great pics and thanks again for babysitting!!!

    Oh, p.s., I think P’s thighs are thicker than Firecracker’s! Look at those thing in their leggies!!! Love it!

  • Tammy Kay - she is precious ashley. they all are!

  • Anna - Aww she is too sweet! Love your family!

  • jessica h - cutie pie[s]!!!

  • Susannah - I just LOVE these photos! I am such a fan of your photography! And I also love the onesies the babies are wearing πŸ˜‰

  • Carrie - Soooo precious!! and look at those lovely eyelashes!! :)

  • amanda torres - Ohhh! There’s 5!!!!! Now you have a b-ball team. Sweet P fits in well with your family. Another precious one.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh Ashley, These pictures are GREAT! and yes ! I will be looking forward to your DIY post!

  • ashley jensen - Just remember that since we grew up in this wonderful whirlpool of different climates, we can pretty much survive anywhere you put us! I heart Tulsa too!!!

  • Nora Anne - Such sweet babies, all of them! Love your photos, you are so talented!

  • Leah - TOO CUTE. The Tshirt Monster was the Best!

I was honored to be asked to write a guest post for Lil Boo Blue today on the topic of pointers for those that don’t own a dslr camera. It is a compilation of some of the photo tips I have shared here specifically for point & shoot users. If you like to sew…or shop…or like inspiration…you should check out Lil Boo Blue. Amazing!

Click here to read the post!

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  • Mara - This is so perfect. I thought about hosting a “point-and-shoot playdate” for our friends. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your talents. You are so amazing I can’t stand it.

  • Courtney - Hey! This was a fabulous article! A while back you had a link to a homeschooling Mom who had all these great monthly themes on her blog…I have searched and searched for her blog and can not find it…please help! I was posted in the “My Lovelies” links…thanks so much!

  • Ashley - Thank you so much! Everyone loves the post and it was the perfect post for our 2 weeks of photography!



  • Erica Buchanan - Thanks for sharing very cute. I love your blog!

  • Michelle - Ashley – thanks so much for the post on P&S cameras. I am one of those moms who does not have a dslr and feel helpless as far as getting those great shots. Now I know that my little ol’ p&s actually has a manual overide that includes ISO settings. Well what do you know?! Thanks a million for all of the tips.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that you and your adorable Firecracker get home from the hospital today!

I am a stick it out kind of girl. If I start something, I finish it. However….I’m done. Really there are only 4 posts left for this month, but I just can’t handle being confined any longer. Kudos to bloggers who have monthly themes. I salute you. I am not one of you…guess there is too much of a free spirit in me.

Before we ditched Oklahoma, I took advantage of some warm weather to carve our pumpkins outside this year. I had no idea I’d be returning from Wonderful Land to 70 & 80 degree weather. I guess it was Oklahoma’s way of being nice to me upon my return. I have a lot of great memories of watching my dad carve pumpkins when I was growing up. He is pretty much amazing at it. The kids and I set to work on our pumpkin…

I made the mistake of asking the older boys what kind of pumpkin they wanted. They said “the Lego Batman Scarecrow”. Not just a lego, not just a batman, not just a lego batman…a Lego Batman Scarecrow. What is the world is that? I had to look it up online. I am a laptop girl for reasons like this.

These two were more interested in the Lego Batman Scarecrow’s guts.

We left it on the back porch and forgot about it…until we returned from our trip. Gross Lego Batman Scarecrow welcomed us. I really wish the squash bugs hadn’t destroyed all the pumpkins I planted this year….I could spend all day carving pumpkins…not Lego Batman Scarecrow pumpkins. When we got back I had a bad attitude (still kind of do) towards fall in general. I usually look forward to the pumpkin patch, but the beach stole that from me. I sucked it up and pretended to be a big girl…we took the kids to the pumpkin patch. At least they got to wear flipflops with their jeans. And they are pretty cute with shirts on.

FireCracker came too, but she was with her daddy running around while the big boys were testing their strength and toughness.

Photo Tip: I gathered from my Hawaii photo tips that you all like to see mistakes. Well I don’t mind showing them. Here Big Brother is in ‘jail’ at the pumpkin patch. What is something very simple that could have been done to improve this picture?

Answer: Included both of his eyes. This is an example of getting an non-posed photo and not having a chance to retake it. I could have stepped to the left just a bit and I would have captured both of his eyes. However, there are times with photographing my children that my motto is “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”

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  • Amy - for what it is worth, i have enjoyed the October 10 in 10 theme this month! :-)

  • Jill R - I love firecracker in her wonder woman shirt. It is especially ironic because her mom is a real life wonder woman!

  • RachelC - I like the lego batman scarecrow. Very spooky! Oh, and you should be nicer to Oklahoma. :)

  • laura - hahaha….love that you’re willing to ditch the ten in ten. i mean, i enjoyed it, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do:).

  • Ruth - LOL. I admire your tenacity. The 10 in 10 theme was great, and I really enjoyed all the guest posts, but I’m glad to see you back to “normal.” And the pumpkin is hilarious. We haven’t even attempted our pumpkin yet this year, but I’m pretty sure my prissy girly-girl 4 year old will a.) refuse to touch it, for fear of getting her hands dirty and b.) want a princess-fairy-ballerina (or want to paint it pink.) My #2 daughter is almost the exact age (and personality, from the sounds of it) as Firecracker & I’m pretty sure next year, when she’s old enough to have an opinion, she’ll want something along the lines of a superhero-cowboy-monster truck.

  • Amy Holgersen - Dude, I think you need to have a post just on your adorable hats and links on where to snag some, cause me wanty!


  • Danielle - hey neighbor! Went to that same pumpkin patch a few weeks ago. The boys loved all the animals! I had never been to one so it was a surprise to me how much there was to do!

  • giozi - Your pumpkin is really great :)
    A big kiss. these day I don’t have much time.

  • lauren - I’ve been a total lurker for months, but I had to come out and say that I think I’ll have to steal your motto – only it would apply to our whole life with our kids, not just photography!

  • Haley - I Love the free spirit of your blog! I also really get that bad mood, I thought being off work for 10 days and being in Hawaii would rejuvenate me for work…..I think it actually made it harder cause I just want to live at the beach in Hawaii :)

  • Heather - the photo of the two littlests talking over pumpkin guts is awesome. i can just imagine the conversation. :)

  • susie whyte - so does ‘lego batman scarecrow’ roughly translate into ‘oscar the grouch’? totally looks like a relative of his. haha.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - That is my favorite motto! I have to say it daily to my babies (10 and 7). Have a wonderful day!

  • Shannon Phillips - You make me laugh. I don’t think that us readers mind much that you ditched your theme. We just want to see your amazing creativity and beautiful photographs. I am pretty sure that your family is about the cutest bunch I have ever known.

    FYI: I don’t care how busy I am, I am taking time out of my day today to do an Ashley Ann inspired craft. I thought you’d be proud. πŸ˜‰

  • Jane - Love the pumpkin! I too find your “bad example” pictures to be incredibly helpful. But, as you say, with small children, you take what you can get. They’re not cooperative and sometimes it’s better to have a few pictures (albeit not perfectly composed) from an event or just something they’re doing vs. having none at all. Don’t fret about conforming to a theme or anything like that. Your blog is so fantastic that it doesn’t need anything like that to keep readers’ interest! Do it for fun, but definitely don’t feel like it’s a must.

  • Sarah - Loving all of the phototips! At least you got an eye. I usually get running away from me or looking at something else while trying to cheese it up! Ha!

  • amanda torres - You are Superwoman! I’ve always suspected it, but the pumpkin seals the deal. You can do amazing things. I also love Firecreacker’s shirt. LOVE IT!

  • Michelle - You are a priority on my “to do list” each day no matter what! I like you’re no-theme-themed blog, always creative, morally inspiring, keeps me coming back for more!

  • Chelsea - Oh my goodness, the Lego Batman Scarecrow, that’s going to be my son someday. That made me laugh so hard. Of course they would ask for that specific design, you did a terrific job carving the pumpkin, and it looks like the pumpkin patch was a lot of fun. Happy Halloween!

  • mandi - hahaha!
    i can never stick with a theme either. i tried really hard to stick with my theme of fair trade friday for the month of october (this is fair trade month). so yeah- that’s just on fridays. but i kept forgetting, or i’d get really excited and post something on a monday instead. so- i hear ya on that one.

    my dad is the best pumpkin carver too. we got to carve it up with him last weekend and had lots of fun!

  • Mara - I know you like to stick to you 50 and 85 mm lenses. But which did you use for the first shot. I feel like it is impossible to get that far away from my subjects with my 50 mm. I know you have no time to answer such trivial questions but I am considering a new lens and I can’t decide between a 35 or 85 mm. I am always so blown away by your pictures but I can’t figure out how you manage to fit all the kids into the shot. I have a hard enough time with my two and a 50 mm.

  • ashley jensen - I personally like being able to see that even professional photographers take picutres that dont always turn out. Makes us ametures feel ok about screwing up! The before and after photos are a huge help for me!

  • Rachel - Okay, so do you use the salad spinner to clean the gunk off of the pumpkin seeds? Brilliant! I must try that!

  • Heather - i always enjoy your posts and dont think you need a theme each month. :) was the lego batman scarecrow a consensus or did each want something different lol??

    one good thing about fall and winter.. starbucks pumpkin spice and ginger bread lattes.. mmmhmm!!!

  • Heather - oh and totally random.. but i was wishing i had some boys of my own who loved legos this week. i went to target and saw harry potter legos! unfortunately i feel 25 is much too old to purchase them for myself. :)

  • jessica h - It’s ok that you couldn’t stick to your theme, Ashley :) I am like that, too; I totally understand!!

    so…you used your salad spinner to divide up the seeds & guts! brilliant! do you guys ever roast the seeds??

  • Seamingly Sarah - That is a well said motto! I try to keep the same thing in mind when going through and editting/deleting all the photos I upload from the camera.

  • Erica Buchanan - Love the pumpkin….KOOL! Your an awesome mom! My girl’s would love that pumpking and they are 14 and 9.-erica

  • Nichole - Your little girl makes me laugh nearly every time I visit your site. Her personality just shines. I love it! Your little boys are also too cute. :)