Throughout all this pandemic this home of ours has been filled with life. The numbers have gone from settling into having two kids home last school year, oh so quiet, to having everyone home for a few different stints.

When we realized how quickly our days all together as a family were going to expire (Elle and Carson were leaving for Florida and Grace would be leaving for her mission for a year and a half), Max and Abby decided to come quarantine with us for a couple weeks (everyone is working online anyway). And the life and togetherness just bulged from this home of ours.

That table below behind those dancing girls was filled up to the brim every night at dinnertime and dinner clean up was made fun (these guys ALWAYS had a dance to do):

(some sunset oogling also, up there on the right)

That time was filled with things like celebrating Carson’s acceptance to podiatry school (before Max and Abby arrived):

Some serious game nights:

Lab coat arrivals…pretty exciting stuff if you ask me!:

Then Max and Abby came, and that first night they whipped us up their chickpea/cauliflower tacos that we all love:

From there it was pretty much a party.

They got here in time for Elle’s birthday:

Outdoor games in the heat:

Night swimming:

And day swimming:

Some father/son ping pong:

Oh, and more swimming:)

Some pickleball too:

One night we took just our married couples out on a double date to this cool place:

My two boys:

Abby’s cool pictures:

It’s still hard for me to believe I have two married couples!

Dave’s good selfies:

…and then out to dinner:


One last card night:

Then the first wave of goodbyes with M&A leaving:

One more night with Elle and Carson…which was spent this way by these girls:

And our last day with swimming and….you’d never guess how we chose to spend the rest of our couple last hours: making hot pads.

We are so weird:) But I’ll have to post the finished product some time…Elle and Car have some SWEET hot pads to show off in Florida!

Packing every last belonging into their car:

And then they were OFF.

On their drive off to a new adventure and a new life in Miami.

Crazy business.

SO grateful we could all be together so much in the midst of everything going on in the world, something to cherish forever for a mama.

And now we’re back down to three:

Gosh, breaking up is hard to do!

And we’re going to have to do it again with Grace before too long (although she will have home MTC instead of leaving us on September 15th…which is strange but we’ve heard great things about).

But break ups make you even more grateful for what you’ve got. And it’s not so bad when everyone is sure heading into some good learning phases!

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  1. What precious time with your family. Love the cute little photo bomber in your couples date night picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Totally unrelated but Iโ€™d like to publicly apologize to you for any criticism over your kids starting the year a few days late because of trips and camps that conflicted. Having sat through the first week of middle school remote learning with my child they do absolute nothing besides getting to know you stuff and tell you about them. They did not miss anything.

    1. “Having sat through the first week of middle school remote learning with my child they do absolute nothing besides getting to know you stuff and tell you about them”

      That’s called building a relationship with your students and attempting to build a unified classroom among students who aren’t physically in the same room. It’s important. The teachers are doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Give them some grace.

      1. They are not in their class they are in my kitchen. Give me some grace. I am sitting next to him the entire time. It is interesting they are reading the Giver cause the surveillance is no joke.

  3. Great you could all be together before the grown kids left for different states/countries. Will be exciting to compare to your next fam photo in 18 months!
    Also just out of curiosity, how tall are all your kids/kids in law? Hard to tell when the whole fam is tall!
    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. True, but anyone who has homeschooled (before the pandemic) will tell you, the homeschool “school day” is about 3 hours long. A school day is double that or more due to time wasted.

    2. Max is 6’7″, Abby is 5″6″, Elle is 6’1″ (and Carson is almost exactly the same), Grace is 5’9″, Claire is 6′ and Lucy is 5″6″.

  4. Love that you got to spend that time together before the “bigs” all go their separate ways. Also, where did you get that blue float that Elle is sitting in? Love it.

  5. I, too, was curious where you got the floatie that Elle was on in the pool.
    And what is that stack of books in the room with the ping pong? Are they like family albums? I’ve been trying to think of how I want to go about creating a family album/photo album of some type, but I’m overwhelmed. Hah!

  6. Shawni, could you post or tell more about the recipe for those tacos? They look AMAZING! And what sides you had? And the salad you made? You always post the yummiest food!

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