I’m thankful for dirt.

I’m thankful that my boys can find so much excitement and joy in something so simple and timeless.

I’m thankful for childhood.

I’m thankful they have a daddy that doesn’t mind getting a little lot dirty.

I’m also thankful for clean water that comes out of a our hose and for neighbors that live far enough from our house that they can’t see naked booties scampering inside. However, I do wish my crazy family could have made a better impression on the new neighbors…we have yet to meet. Remember when our four year old said he’d kill them with a bow and arrow? We still haven’t met them, but they sure have been introduced to us. Rumor on the block is they will be moving in the spring, I think I’ll just avoid formal introductions all together.

Happy Monday!

I used this template for the photo collage.

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  • Lindsay - I cannot wait to have kids – seeing these pictures give me baby fever! These pictures are so awesome! Think about if you didn’t like letting your kiddos get dirty. You wouldn’t have these awesome memories! I love it.

  • Giovanna - Ha ha ha they are really goods. ha ha ha

  • Tammy Kay - I guess that is a picture of your neighbor in the background? lol. too funny.
    I love the mud pictures. I took some pictures of my kids playing in the mud last Friday. We don’t have that much mud though. 😉

  • libby - awesome pictures! and such a sweet daddy for getting in there and getting dirty.

  • Sarah - oh dirt is always so much fun! boys are usually happiest when getting themselves wet or dirty! Love it!

  • Stacy - Oh my goodness, that looks like so much fun. When I was little I loved to play in the mud. I think my kids would enjoy it also. I need to find us some MUD!!! Great pictures.

  • ashlee - love it! what a fun daddy they have:) i love the one of him holding your son with one hand:)

  • Bron @ Baby Space - How awesome! They look like they’re having the best time 🙂

  • Maike - oh my, I’m thankful for having a girl 😉

  • Katie H. - Something tells me that in another year or two, Firecracker is going to be right in the middle of all of that!! How fun!

  • Liene - Ha ha, lots of fun!

  • Jill E - to much fun. you guys are the coolest parents. your kids are so lucky to get to play in the mud.

  • the inadvertent farmer - I am thankful that you always have your camera with you…and that you are so willing to share how real your life is!

    I am also thankful for our outdoor shower pretty much every day of summer! Kim

  • Ayesha - I love your boys and I think they have an amazing set of parents….lets hope this pregnancy I have a boy

  • Stephanie - What great fun. You are both great and inspiring parents

  • Danielle - I love it when kids get dirty! It makes for amazing pics!

  • Amy - I have some wonderful memories of playing in some serious mud like this as a child. What a gift to give your little guys! Beautiful photos all around–thanks for sharing.

  • amanda torres - I love everything about this post. Surely your neighbors enjoy the show. Free entertainment!

  • Ruth - I love this! They are so precious even when covered with mud. My prissy 4 year old daughter wouldn’t touch a mud puddle with a 10 foot pole!

  • The Lady of the House - Loved the muddy pics of your boys 🙂 Playing in the mud is good. clean. fun!

  • Kristen - Love the great time in the dirt! I am wondering how you get such clear action shots?! Just wondering if you are doing any touch-ups in Photoshop that help with the clarity? Any info regarding the setting you used to take the mud play shots would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  • Cherish Stockdale - my boys love the mud too! we just moved into a new house with NO grass in the backyard…the boys don’t seem to mind they just get out the hose and have some fun! Mud party!!

  • Maggie - Not sure I could handle all that MUD…but i love that you can & do~ loved the neighbor running in the background…very funny!

  • Jolie - Oh I am getting so impatient for mud season around here!!! Getting dirty is good fun, and I am so grateful to have 2 littles who are happy to get dirty…and as my children have been heard to exclaim: *no worries, that’s what the washing machine is for!* (guess who they’ve heard that from!)

  • Wendy@ Almota Roses - Ashley, I just wanted to say that I REALLY love this post. As a mom to 3 boys and one baby girl, I constantly have mud in my life….and the girl is the muddiest sometimes! LOL!

    I just wanted to say how much I love your blog. I have been following along for some time and occasionally commenting. I adore your blog and want my blog (and photography) to be like yours when it grows up!

    Have a beautiful day!

  • becca g - hilarious! we are in the middle of our dry season right now so my boys are covered in dust instead…and love it. (can’t believe you got your camera so close 🙂

  • tamara - These are so wonderful and FUN!!

  • allen - I thought your muddy pictures of dad and the boys looked neat. I hope I have the guts to do the same before our kids get too big. We have a one year old, three year old, eight year old and then 13,14,15 also. I wish we were rich enouhg to have more. They are all home schooled. Don’t worry they’re not sheltered, they all play sports including Benji who plays football for the public school.


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And the Itsy Bitsy Creations winner is:

Tina -“I love to see the sunlight reflect in the eyes of my itsy bitsy creations as they sat around the table this morning all ready for the 1st day of school wearing their headbands from Etsy and new dresses.”

Everyone else….have fun shopping at Itsy Bitsy Creations!

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  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - OH, I know I tell you this all the time… but Firecracker is ADORABLE!!

  • Giovanna - snif snif. Maybe next time.
    Congratulations Tina 🙂

If you have followed this blog over the last year you know that Google Reader stopped working consistently on my blog. It has been annoying to say the least. I don’t understand web code (or if that is even what it is called!), so it has made it difficult for me to figure out things. I have done all kinds of searches, forums, emails and posts asking for help….no avail. Recently I got an email from a blog reader that said she thought my blog had been hacked. I didn’t know who to contact other than the amazingly wonderful guys at ProPhoto Blogs. They did all they could and confirmed to me that my blog had an old hack. Then they referred me to the equally wonderful WordPress Help Center. I admit I am always a bit leary of web help becasue I don’t know enough to know if I am being ripped off or not (kind of like auto body shops…you just don’t know).

Well…as you Google Reader followers know….my blog is working and the hack has been cleaned…and WordPress Help Center did it earlier than estimated and without extra hours of charges. I can’t say enough about the incredible service that ProPhoto Blogs & WordPress Help Center offers. EVERYTIME I have ever had a need or a question they have promptly and kindly helped. So, I wanted to take the time to say “Thank You” to ProPhoto Blogs and WordPress Help Center. (if you smartly decide to purchase a ProPhoto blog template use this code for $10.00 off ASHCAM473)

We were so excited to see Google Reader working! (Mac PhotoBooth pics)

In other news, today my monthly Photo Design Project will be posted over at Design Aglow. For those that were a bit confused last month about what Design Aglow is….in the most basic sense it is a resource for photographers. When you order custom cards, announcements, and other fun boutique items from professional photographers those items are often purchased from Design Aglow or similar companies. Professional photographers then customize each product to fit their studio needs. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to purchase from Design Aglow, but for most items you do need to own and have a working knowledge of Photoshop.

If that doesn’t apply to you…you can still make most of my projects using other things. So come check out my Design Aglow diy post later today:

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  • Kirsten - Yay! So glad you found good help. But now your hit count will drop because I’m not checking your blog 20 times a day to see if you’ve posted anything new. 🙂

  • tammy Kay - Yay! Great to see you first thing in the morning on my google reader, but then again I always check your blog first anyway! Looking forward to the project! 🙂

  • maria - Ashley- so happy to see you in my google reader, at long last!!! also thankful for your posting on prophotoblogs….I never knew about them, but am looking to makeover my blog and I think I found the answer in them and your discount makes my decision even easier!! Love your continued inspiration!

  • shelly@familyblt - oh me oh my, those pics are funfunfunny! Love ’em. Hooray for google reader working!

  • Christina - Your blog has always shown up on my google reader- but not correctly- all I see is the headline of the post and then I have to click over to see the whole thing. It also shows that you have a new post every time someone comments. It is still showing up like this now for me- but that’s fine- at least I always get reminded to see what fun new post you have up!

  • Michelle - Hooray! Reading all your blogs when they flooded my Reader was never very enjoyable. Too much too quickly. Hahaha.

    Glad to see it’s worked out for you!

  • Leo - You can now remove the “call for help” on the blog description 🙂

    PS. As far as web security goes, Blogger is far superior to WordPress. I can’t recommend it enough! 🙂

  • christina larsen - So glad it’s fixed.

  • Hannah Bunker - Okay, so I’ve been reading your blog religiously for about a month and I’ve even done some of your DIY projects (the bird scrapbooking paper canvas “painting,” the advice jar you did for your sister’s baby shower I just did for my sis-in-law’s wedding shower, and I have a few others on my to-do list.

    Well, I started up a photography business in January and so far it’s only been word of mouth and my only online portfolio is a dinky blogspot blog. Just this week I was telling my husband that I’m ready to start getting serious about my business so I can eventually quit my day job (I have a degree in theatre and I’m an oil $ gas analyst in Texas – howdy neighbor!:)- so you can guess that the oil business wasn’t my first career choice ;)So I’m just waiting for my funds to come through then I’m setting up my Prophoto blog within the week! I’m so serious when I say reading this was such an encouragement because I’ve been very nervous about spending so much money on something I don’t know too much about. It’s like you said, you don’t know if you’re getting ripped off or not. I’m so glad I stopped by your blog today because I have more confidence now…and an extra ten dollars! haha. Thanks!

  • NatashasKitchen.com - Those macbook photos are hilarious. A friend brought his macbook to a party and we were laughing it up for at least 30 minutes while we took turns in front of the screen.

  • Tira J - Glad you got some help. I had thought maybe you were taking a blog hiatus when it hadn’t showed up in my reader for a week or so. I got all caught up yesterday and am so glad you are back in business. Can’t wait to see what you cook up over at Design Aglow.

  • Giovanna - Ha ha ha ha pictures are the best and the two last ha ha ha ha ha.
    I don’t understand very well about the desing. But I have one thing clear I must these punches 🙂

  • Kara - yay!!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Ashley, that composition notebook is amazing! Thank you so much for giving us your step by step and sharing your knowledge with us! I really appreciate that.

  • amy - glad you got it straighten out i just added you to my reader..though i got in the habit of always checking your blog then going to my reader and seeing what else was updated..so it didn’t really matter anymore. :0)

  • Kelly - Thanks for always telling us when your Design Aglow post is up! Fun! Kelly

  • Jodi - I loved your tutorial on design aglow! Congrats on the google reader finally working! That must have been so annoying!

    Looking forward to this week’s posts from you!

  • Jodi - ps, I just did a tin for my “big girl” shared room similar to that! Gorgeous.

  • Jennifer - Where do I get the blue design like you had? I looked on design aglo and couldn’t find it. Do you have the link to what you have or did you alter it a lot?

  • Ari Morris - You’re back in my google reader and I am overjoyed!
    In other news…2 random people (one in Memphis, one in Cinci) this week have mentioned your blog to me. I was proud to say that I knew you personally!!! They both LOVE your work!