Thank you all for coming out in force to be a voice for vulnerable children! You all are awesome. Thank you for supporting Foster Kade Designs! The winner of the giveaway was:

After last Friday’s post I thought you might like a little peek of some recent pictures of my friends. I have mentioned them previously on the blog as they traveled the journey of adoption. I remember sitting in their kitchen about this time last year and my sweet friend started beaming as she told me about a referral they received for a sibling set….their children.

I love this picture. To think that a year ago three of their kids were in a children’s home on the other side of the globe. Now all their kids are home.

Photo tip: For this picture I started with the kids posed behind their parents. We did a couple really posed smiling shots and one where each kid held up fingers for their age. The kids started getting restless so to get them back engaged I told them on the count of 3 to tackle their parents. Don’t you love these!

Those just make me happy. Thanks F’s for letting me capture a brief point in the story of your family. You are loved…ALL 8 OF YOU!

Disclaimer: No, I am not doing client sessions….just a few pictures of the closest kind of friends 🙂

Cute floral tape by PuglyPixel

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  • RachelC - Love, love, love the pictures!! I especially love the one of the kids lined up beaming at their parents, and that the last 2 really show off mom and dad’s personalities! What a beautiful love story. Love you guys.

  • Courtney Connelly - M and J-
    What wonderful pictures of your family, they show the love the eight of you have for one another!

  • Kirsten - Thank you for posting these! My husband and I have just started the Ethiopian adoption process. Sometimes I am excited, sometimes I am terrified! But seeing families like this one makes it seem possible and not quite so strange and daunting.

  • Kalee - We need more pictures like these to make people see that families are families no matter how they come together!

  • meg duerksen - amazing.

  • Trinity - Love it Ashley!!!! This is a beautiful family!!! I love it how the little one just does her own thing while everyone else is wrestling. Cracks me up. Congratulations to this family on completion of adoption and welcome to the incredible journey!!!

  • Tricia - Tears.
    What a beautiful tribute to your friends, their family, and to bringing a family together through adoption.
    Thank you for sharing.


  • Kara P - Looking good “F” family!!!

  • emily anderson - i LOVE these pictures!

  • Mariah - Love these, Ashley! 8 beautiful faces.

  • Erin - Thank you for posting this beautiful family!

  • Danielle - beautiful.

  • Danielle - beautiful!

  • stylefyles - hahahah, way to sneak a chair in there =)
    lovely family!

  • Lori K - Love those pics. I like the one of all them lined up looking at their parents. adoption is a great thing. God bless them forever.

  • OrangeFarmhouse - Maike - probably love the story as much as the pictures! great parents!

  • Harriet - I love this post! What a beautiful family. Your photos tell a great story.

  • Brittany - my heart desires to be like this family sooo badly! I cried my eyes out after watching “Lucy’s Gotcha Day” video and several others. I hope one day me and my hub can bring “our” children home.

    On another note: a few photo setting questions!

    1. is your white balance on auto or another setting?
    2. which metering mode do you use?
    3. do you use the manual focus points or automatic?

    B 🙂

  • Kelly - My favorite one is the middle one where they’re all standing looking at their parents, well, except for little miss blondie. 🙂 All of these photos definitely bring a smile to my face. Kelly

  • tara pollard pakosta - what gorgeous pictures!
    I can only dream of adoption!
    what a blessing they are all to one another!!!
    I LOVE this!

  • vanessa - This brought tears to my eyes. A beautiful family for sure!!

  • Heather Stauffer - What a blessing-and SO beautiful to see!

  • Heather - What wonderful pictures of a great family! Adoption is amazing….we are working on #2 ourselves.

  • jessica h - so great! they have been on my mind all week…

  • Lindsey @ A Pear to Remember - As an adoptee (and perhaps future adoptive parent), these photos really touch my heart. Beautiful work!

My monthly contributor post over at Design Aglow is up. I know not all of you have Photoshop and are able to use all the Design Aglow products, but you could use the same methods to create your own projects. Sometimes when I see diy projects on other blogs everything seemingly looks perfect…like the diy-er just quietly worked in a gorgeous studio creating something fun. Well, that is far from my reality. I thought you might enjoy a couple ‘behind the scenes’ pictures of my companion when I was working on the Design Aglow projects.

Here we are outside…burning a little cork and practicing our screams. On a side note, I have reached a new level of personal accomplishment. Remember my chair post? Well, this pink beauty in these pictures has a new home. I let 4 chairs go in one day. I am so proud of myself.

And as I attempted to get ‘after’ pictures of the project…she kept getting in the way and taking pictures. She’s cute, but I was going for a different subject!

Well, hop on over to Design Aglow and let me know what you think!



Have you heard of the new site Bump Smitten (love that name)…well it is full of incredible ideas regarding baby showers. You could use the ideas for anything really though. I love the clean, beautiful design of the blog. Sweet P’s shower was featured yesterday. If you need some party inspiration, stop by!

The Foster Kade Designs giveaway ends tonight…

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  • Heather - firecracker = adorable..

    the small glimpse of your new over the mantle photo display = love it..

  • Anna Marie - Oh my goodness Ashley! How perfect that you told us about Bump Smitten. I just found out yesterday that I am going to be helping throw a shower next month. Thank you, thank you!

  • Sarah - cute post! i love the idea of buring the cork!

  • Liene - Wow, nice project again. I really like the second one with the clipboard where you can draw on you laminated photographs and erase it again. Great. I also like the woody look of one of them!

  • Kirsten - Super-cool projects! I love the dry-erase one. My kiddo would love drawing on pictures of Mommy and Daddy. And I loveloveLOVE the sneak peek over your mantel (mantle? I can never remember which way to spell it). I couldn’t see much of it, but I am dreaming of doing something similar with our kitchen backsplashes – can’t wait to see/hear the details!

  • Jessica - I am pretty sure that I will never get tired of looking at pictures of your daughter, she is just so darn adorable!!!!!!

    I too, have an adorable little daughter at home who ALWAYS wants to help with my projects!

    Has to bring a smile to your face to think that one day they will be creating with us!

  • Jessica - ps, yes, that was a lot of exclamation points.
    my bad.

  • Lori K - Looking at the shower makes me want to have a baby!!! I want a shower like that!! But, alas I’m 41.5. too old so they say – or at least i feel too old to have another one. Well, we could adopt – so save that beautiful chair for me. I love this post and way to go!!! excellent party throwing – I must say!

  • ashlee - little helpers are always nice, right?:) i currently have 2 climbing on me and one yelling at me as i type this:)

  • giozi - Thanks for sharing the link I going to see this site.

    These days I have a heavy head about my Lua’s birthday. It’s just that this week was the birthday of the daughters of two friends from Flickr. One of them, olivia1111, filled her house with balloons, confetti and if you saw the picture he took of her daughter, the expression on her face, her smile full of happiness is the nicest thing one can have of their children.
    A friend told me that it did not matter much to decorate a party because young children do not look at that. The girl of my friend was 4, and her smile said it all.

  • allison - very cool idea! tfs!

  • Kae - Aww I bought that same dress for my daughter to wear for her 2nd bday party!! You have great taste!! haha And thanks for the site, I may find inspiration for her party now!

  • shower blog « - […] It is fun. You see amazing creativity, color, thriftiness, ideas, photography, etc… BUT today Ashley shared about a new baby shower blog. Hop on over to Bump Smitten. Simply […]

  • amanda - I LOVE all of your ideas and I’m going to check out Bump Smitten for ideas for my daughter’s 1st birthday party. That dress Firecracker is wearing is SO cute! Where did you get it from??

  • Nicole - ummmmm…..NEED to see more of the photo display behind the laminated photo Step 10 on your Design Aglow post!!! Did I miss that?! Part of the new living room re-do?? The suspense is killing me…

  • Sheila Cutler - LOL! Classic. Excluding it is devoted, its not a tiny cheat that hurts, its those some small cheats in a row that adjoin up.

Well Friday was super wordy…so how about a lot of pictures? Have you heard of glamping? It is like pretend camping for adults. All the perks and none of the sleep on the ground smelling like a fire reality. Why not just go to a spa? Don’t pretend like you’re camping…really. Do I sound mean? Probably. I’m a tent camper married to an Eagle Scout. We camp. In real tents. It is not glamorous. With 4 small kids it is actually a lot of work. However, once we get miles from home and see acres upon acres of Oklahoma fields – cares start to fade. Stress leaves. Just me & my family…outside…listening to birds…technology free…experiencing life…camping.

By the way, if you are a ‘glamper’ that is cool in a different way. Actually after washing all the campfire smelling clothes glamping alone with Chris sounds rather nice 🙂

thanks for the warm welcome over on Facebook…I am still trying to figure it all out…you guys are great

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  • Emily - No s’mores?

  • Cara - It looks like a great time! I am curious what lens you take with you when you go on a trip? Thanks

  • Kelly Clarke - LOVE the pic of B peering out from inside the tent and all snuggled up inside sleeping… makes me want to go camping with my 8 month old daughter! 🙂

  • Mallory @ R. Simple Life - Where do you camp?? I’m having a hard time finding hiking/camping in Oklahoma, when I am coming from Colorado.

  • allison - Looks like a fun time!

  • andy - love the post
    love the pics
    looks like fun
    not a glamper (never heard of it till today)
    it’s been awhile since we’ve camped but ready

  • laura - no glamping…but i’m still impressed by the great tablecloth and fresh flowers:). looks like soooo much fun!

  • Sarah - glamping with no kids does sound like a spa trip to me! we haven’t tent camped it years. we have a travel trailer so we haven’t roughed it in a while. next year we plan on tent camping again. after reading your post i’m itching for next summer already:)

  • Amy Holgersen - Oh LOVING that visor. where, who?!

  • RachelC - I love that pic with Chris and biggest brother jumping off the waterfall. That HAS to make biggest brother feel a little like superman! How cool.

  • Shannon{photos by shannon} - We took our 3 kids camping this summer for the first time with all 3. I think we are getting old because after 2 nights of sleeping on a blanket on the floor of the tent we were definitely ready for our bed! When hubby and I went camping alone soon after we still roughed it in the tent, etc…but we did use an air mattress lol. Your site looks nice! I think I need to find a cooler spot.

  • ashley jensen - We are huge campers. We rough it, but once a year we do the cabin thing. The last pics of laying on the rocks, jumping off bluffs (waterfalls and such), totally us. Oh and we are usually found camping/swimming/floating somewhere along the Illinois River.

  • Brooke - Firecracker’s curls are just precious! My little one’s hair always curls up like that out in the heat and I can’t get enough of those sweet little ringlets! Looks like a fun weekend, I love camping…fire smell and all!

  • Krista Lund - what a great collage of photos. you captured the details perfectly!

  • Melissa - LOVE the visor!! Where did you get it?? 🙂

  • rachel - i love firecracker’s swimsuit and your hat! so adorable. 🙂

  • Karen - Where did you go camping? I’ve only ever camped at the lake but it looks like you’re on a river maybe…? I would definitely like to go there!

  • Teresa Hill - We are campers too! No glaming in our world. I love the stress free, technology free state of being while away from the everyday hussle and bussle of life (don’t tell my husband that I said I like to be technology free at times…he would get rid of all of my tech stuff). Anyway, enjoyed your post and I have to tell you that I made it complete through your entire blog yesterday…I can return to life as normal…or at least focus on my reading for my graduate class…Your blog has been a great escape from the abstract world of philosophy and ideology.

  • Jane - Looks like such a fun getaway! I’m not a glamper either. Our very favourite camping spot is at Toroweap in the Grand Canyon. You have to drive off-road for about 2 hours to get there, so there is hardly anyone there. No barriers. The Grand Canyon in all of its glory.

  • Mary - gorgeous pictures and looks a wonderful time. getting away from everything is fantastic.

  • giozi - Lovely weekend, lovely toes, and lovely children.
    OHh your chubby lie over the stones, I want to eat her :)-
    Well I’m gonna take one of your hotdogs he he he instead 😛

    Could you believe that I never had gone to a camping !! bad bad bad.
    I told to my husban last weekeng to go to some place, field, before weather chages. Now is great is not too hot, but here in Madrid there isn’t autum neither spring, only awful hot and killer cold. 🙁
    He he he My husband is just coming and he wants to tell you that I told you is a lie, but you don’t hear him. 🙂

  • allison - LOVE THIS! Your pics are so amazing….how do you get the pic lighting to look so “light and bright”? I mean – they’re so fresh and bright looking but not overly VIVID!Love them! 🙂

  • Jess - Love these pics! Camping is one of my family’s favorite summer and fall activities! 🙂

  • Alina - love the pictures of your camping trip. me and my husband go camping (not glamping) every year for 4th of july and labor day weekend and we always have a blad.
    you said it perfectly-“Just me & my family…outside…listening to birds…technology free…experiencing life…camping.”

  • MelissaM - These are great Ashley! Thanks for sharing!

  • emily anderson - we are supposed to go camping in november…so this post gets me excited! but, i need your polka-dot visor. where’d you get it?

  • Sarah - Never heard of Glamping until now. I am totally a Glamper! I love to be outside all day long, but sleep in a real bed (camper).

  • Jennifer - Looks like you had a great time! 🙂

  • Tracie - I love tent camping with my family. We haven’t done it in a while because of a family move, some issues with other scheduled vacations. I miss it. We did stay in a wonderful cabin in a campground this summer, but it wasn’t the same as sleeping in a tent! There is nothing like having the smell of campfire in your hair and clothes…. mmmmmmmm.

  • Leanne - we also camp, for reals with our 3 kids, I love it!! we have gigantic tent that you can stand up in and it has 2 rooms, ahhh. I would like to know what your little Firecracker is sleeping in? it looks cool, and like it is good for ‘containing’ little ones at night.

  • lifeologia - Beautiful photos as usual.
    So good you squeezed in a shot of yourself in there with your cutie pie.
    Looks like a lot of fun!

  • kelly - How fun!! Love your pics. Especially love how every pic of your little ‘firecracker’ makes it look like she is totally living up to her nickname. 🙂

  • Sarah - We enjoy camping too.
    As always, enjoyed your pictures!

  • Caroline - Glamping is lamo schlamo!!!

    I’m also married to a die hard eagle scout. We do a lot of backpacking/camping and we’re looking forward to when our baby is old enough to go.

    Hot dogs over a fire make me want to go now!

  • Amy - This looks like so much fun! Where is this at? Looks like a great spot! We have been wanting to take our boys camping and I want to go here!!! 🙂

  • mandi - Geez- THANK YOU!!! Glamping?!? I mean, come on! We are tent campers as well. I have friend that refers to our kind of camping as “homeless people camping”. Umm…excuse me? But camping in a trailer is NOT camping!

    We love camping, and I’m glad to see you do too!

  • peta - we are a tent and dirt camping family here. love it. and the kids do too. such great family holidays! i am impressed by your table cloth, your fresh flowers and your great bucket (is that a bucket?) of straws and napkins. so cute! i could do that ……
    looks like a great spot, and that shot of Firecracker in her kinderkot is so cute!

  • peta - P.S. do you fit all your gear in your car, or do you need a trailer like us … ?

  • Zhanna - I can NOT get enough of your daughter!!!!! She is sooooo beautiful and has that look in her eyes that says you will never outsmart her. I bet she is full of personality!

  • Julie - We love to camp but this year we backyard camped due to the littlest being 3 months. It was super fun. Can’t wait until next year when we can go again for real. I love the picture of your hotdogs, way better than my shot, lol!

  • Katie Daniel - How did the camping go for your littlest one? I am thinking about taking my 20 month old in a few weekends.