I try to do these “snapshots” with words at the beginning of each year and I’m always lucky if I get to it earlier than the summer.  Ha!  So I’m feeling pretty good that I’m posting this in March.  Here’s our “snapshot” of what life is like for our family in 2017:

We have three girls at three different schools.  One gets to school in a carpool (that leaves at 6:50), the second rides her bike with friends (and leaves around 7:45), and the third sometimes takes the bus but more often gets a ride with me on my way to my boot camp class at 8:15.

We are card-game-crazy.  We play “Scum” and “Lucky-Unders” any chance we get.

We finally found a “show” to watch that my parents got us addicted to over Christmas break.  It’s called “This Is Us” and it is really well done and makes you think about a lot of things.  We went crazy watching episodes while we were up in Utah with my parents, but we’ve only found the time to watch one episode since we got back.  We are not very good television watchers around here.
We miss Max and Elle terribly.  But at the same time we are relishing having our youngest three in the spotlight.  As much as things haven’t slowed down like I thought they would, it is still easier to gather everyone together and Grace is shining as the oldest one home.
We hear from Max on Sunday nights (his P-day is Monday, but he’s 16 hours ahead so we get his letters on Sundays).  We look forward all week to hearing from him.  Sometimes his letters have more to tell us than others, but in general every single one is extremely positive and upbeat.  He loves Taiwan the the good people he speaks with every day.  And he’s lucked out with really great companions.  He hit his year mark in January which was quite exciting around here.

One thing I love about Max’s letters is that he’s always gives everyone else credit for everything good that happens.  It’s always his companion or investigator’s idea.  Which may very well be true, but I love that he’s so quick to give others credit and love.
We usually FaceTime Elle each Sunday afternoon while we’re whipping up Sunday dinners.  I adore hearing the questions she asks her sisters and her genuine interest in their lives.  She is so full of energy and exuberance for life.  And she ADORES Hawaii and thanks her lucky stars daily for her decision to go to school there.

I have transformed into a soccer mom.  At least as “soccer mom” as you can get when you have good friends who carpool and help with your daughter so much, but it seems like we sure spend a LOT of time at the soccer fields.

As much as Claire is loving soccer, she’s still not willing to call it quits on other sports.  Which is tricky since soccer monopolizes her time.

Grace is the most sparkly cheerleader ever.  She is so glad she’s had this opportunity but is pretty excited to shift over to tennis for next year. (More about that HERE.)

Grace, Claire and I have Young Women activities every Wednesday night.  I work with the girls Grace’s age and I love it with all my heart.  We have really good youth around here and I am so grateful for their good influence on my children.
Lucy goes to “Activity Days” every other Wednesday night as well, and at first she was a little worried about leaving Dave as a lone man in the house while all of us girls were gone.  But she soon realized that he pretty ok about the whole arrangement.  Ha!
Dave serves on the High Council in our stake and helps with missionary work.  He is learning a ton through that service and loves thinking about Max through it all.
We are horrible at job charts lately.  There will be weeks that go by where they will sit on the wall glaring at us, begging for some attention.

We do get practicing done though.  We are not piano experts around here, and the girls only practice for 20 minutes each day, but they are progressing and have a wonderful piano teacher who comes every Friday morning at 6:15 and does a half-hour slot of teaching with each girl.

Grace and Claire are starting to play the hymns at church for the songs in Young Women and they are pretty glowing-happiness about that.

Lucy stands up to learn new piano songs since she can see the notes better that way.

Claire sleeps with her blanket we made together ages ago every night and has to carry it around the house.  Her blanket her Nana made her when she was a baby is usually right by it’s side, but lately it is so tattered I think she’s worried it will disappear if she keeps lugging it around.

Grace and Claire are starting hard into tennis.  They go three days a week for a couple hours each time.  Sure hoping it will pay off and they can fall in love with that game.  They come home pretty happy so that’s a good sign.

We have a dog.

Let’s repeat that one:  We have a dog named Bo Jangles.

And I still cannot believe that little fact I tell you!

(The fact that we have a dog AND that she’s named Bo Jangles of all things.  Ha!)

A real update on that coming, but I’ll just say she arrived almost two months ago and the girls are head-over-heels in love with her.  There have certainly been days we are exasperated beyond measure, but most days the glittery wide smiles of our girls as they snuggle her close makes all the trouble worth it.

We still do mornings just like we have since our first hit high school: scriptures at 6:30 with one of us while the other makes breakfast.  We started D&C in January and are still only on section 10.  But some of those verses lead to some pretty interesting discussions so we take our time.

Also, Bo sure makes things a little tricky in the mornings with her excitement to be awake and to be with us and to jump on everything she can manage while wagging her whole body in pure glee.

Lucy’s eyesight is rapidly diminishing.  We are seeking help in every way we can and also trying to remember to discuss the world with her in detailed word so she can associate with all the things she hears and feels when/if her eyesight is gone.

Lucy is meticulously clean.  She wants things put back just so and takes pride in keeping her room just so.  Grace is the opposite (as most teenagers are), but is working on it.  Claire is somewhere in between.

With a house full of three girls there is often drama going on around here.  It’s all about who took what and who talked in a mean voice and who wouldn’t let who do whatever and who had a mean look.  Ha!  Sometimes it cracks me up, other times it drives me nutty, but always it makes me extra grateful that in spite of the drama there is a lot of love going on around here.

The goal is always to have dinner ready at 6:00.  But then Claire is gone to soccer or the girls aren’t back from tennis or we have an extra friend or two at our house so more often than not we don’t quite make the 6:00 goal.  But Lucy sets up the table every night and we sit down with whoever is around.

Sometimes the dinner table is commotion-filled and crazy, sometimes it’s quiet with just one child home.  Sometimes we bust up laughing until we cry, sometimes there’s crying because they’re so darn mad at something or other (and you can guess who that “someone” is…).  My favorite meals are the ones where someone will bring up a memory and we will talk and talk and reminisce about all those golden threads we share.

Still, all these years later, we have a Family Home Evening lesson and more formal meeting on Sundays, and then have some kind of an activity on Monday nights.  Dave has done a good job reminding me not to let anyone sign up for anything on Monday evenings.  Those are sacred.  And I’m so glad because there’s nothing like holding on to these three remaining kids we’ve got around here with all our might 🙂

Grace is delighted to have her driving permit and drives every chance she can get.  She can hardly stand it that she gets to get her real license in three months.  I have to admit I cannot wait either.  After having other drivers around and losing them, it will be so great to have another one around!

We love living close to so many of Dave’s siblings and one of mine.  We love gathering with them and having Josh over every Sunday for dinner.  If we could only recruit more over here to the desert…

That’s all for now…that’s where we are so far for 2017.  It’s a good new year.


  1. Just a thought as your working with Lucy losing her vision: maybe as you describe the world with detailed words, you could use scents as well – that might help her really visualize things later. The sense of smell is a powerful way to invoke memory…maybe even visual memory. Best of luck in this journey.

    1. I still remember exactly how my school bus smelled in kindergarten and the vision of the buses lined up outside instantly comes to mind whenever I smell something similar.

  2. When do your kids wake up and go to bed? I have young ones and just can't wrap my head around what mornings and evenings are going to look like once their in school, sports, etc. I love these glimpses into your life! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love these posts. It makes me want to write them, too.
    We are trying to be better with scheduled scripture time and breakfast together in the morning. I was wondering what you typically make for breakfast? Just the standards–pancakes, eggs, waffles, or anything else?

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