Here’s our Easter (and Easter-lead-up) in pictures.

…and just a few words.
We tried the Martha Steward thread egg idea this year:

…and the leaf imprint one:

…and the really-super-old-egg-dye-you-found-in-a-closet-and-dusted-off that makes the eggs come out like that pink one below:

…gotta do a few rubber band ones too:

On Easter morning we got up at the crack of dawn to follow those strings the Easter Bunny left. I wish I had pictures of the downstairs and all over outside…these kids went on some serious hunts this year over and under everything you can imagine following those strings.

Practically the minute the kids found those baskets Grace and I had to rush off to sing in the choir.

Yes, I’m serious about that choir part. We have decided to sing in the choir and what a better time to make that happen than on Easter. Not much makes me feel the love of my Heavenly Father more than music.

The only problem was that we had to be at church at 7:30 am to practice before church started at 8:00. That is no way to start an Easter Sunday I tell you.

Except for the singing part. That part’s a good way to start the day…just not the wake-up-and-rush-to-find-Easter-baskets-at-the-crack-of-dawn part.

We had to wait to take real pictures and have the egg hunt until after church.(That’s how the mom looks after she has stayed up all night to help the Easter Bunny and then scrambled to get five kids ready for church and to find Easter baskets bright and early, and also feels terrible from her weird health issues.)

The kids and dad sure look cute though:

Claire was super excited about the pictures.
“Mom, will you pleeeeeaaaaase just let us hunt for eggs now?”

(Max and Lu were really excited about that shot.)

Easter dinner with cousins:
When kids form lines to jump on the trampoline with you, you must be a pretty good guy.

(Sorry, I had no choice but to put all of those jumping ones in…they are too entertaining to me. I love all those cute teenagers.)

(oooo, that guy’s not so bad himself:)

The little kids had to do a little jumping too…

The best part of Easter?

The time we took to watch the video clips my sister linked HERE about Christ’s death and resurrection. Claire was curled in a ball bawling by the end. The spirit touches that girl so tenderly. This all led to some of the most thought provoking questions and discussion between me and my sweet children. The air was thick. By the end of our love-filled discussion Claire looked up at me with her red eyes and tear-streaked face and told me how grateful she was for Jesus.

It filled my heart right up to the brim.
How amazing that He was not there that day so long ago. He was risen.

And he is still risen. And although he was not “there” that morning he is here. In our hearts. With us always. Beckoning us to “follow.” Waiting to help us through our deepest woes and worries if we’ll only remember to let Him in.

Because He’s been there.

How incredibly grateful I am for that knowledge.

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  1. Absolutely gorgeous pictures. I was smiling away as I looked through them. It looks like you all had a wonderful time, despite the early start!

  2. I'm sure you have had so much advice and opinion on your Hashimoto's. I am worried about you and how awful you feel. I have had it for several years and never noticed any difference when I took my medication. I finally went to an awesome natural Dr. who had me go off dairy and gluten and my meds. That alone made me feel so much better. He put me on some creams and natural pills and stuff and I am feeling so much better. He has taught me that food plays a huge part in the healing process of our body. I am still learning how to deal with it since there are some days when I am super tired and crabby so I would love for you to keep your audience up to date on how you figure things out with this. It is a wide spread problem with women and many don't even know they have thyroid issues. Love your blog! You inspire me daily and we have implimented so many of your great ideas with my family. Thanks for sharing so much!

  3. A few things sprang to mind as i read this today. One was How cute is Elle's easter dress!!! 2nd, claire had the same dress as my daughter,and i loved it! 3rd, i love how happy everyone is, and you can jsut feel that. One thing that really stuck me, whas the picture of Daves parents with the kids, did you notice anything about Elle? A baby on her hip, just like her mommy.. i too am a IWAN without actually having one! LOL She's gonna grow up so fast, and be a real mommy before you know it. I need to time to stop for a while!!

  4. Hi Shawni –

    You have a beautiful family and it looks like you had a lot of fun for Easter. I do have a question – I am very curious about faiths other than my own. The LDS/Mormon faith is one I know the least about. I always thought, maybe mistakenly, that the Mormon church teaches that Jesus Christ, although a major prophet, was not God's son, and was not a perfect man. If one believes that he is not perfect, how is it possible to believe that his death paid a ransom sacrifice for our sins before God? The only way that can be done is to offer up a perfect life in exchange for the perfect lives lost when Adam and Eve sinned. If you don't believe he was the perfect Son of God, then you can't be thankful for what "he did for us". His death and resurrection are then moot, and just the death of another prophet. Please correct me if I have misinformation – I am not trying to be mean spirited. I am just really curious about how people of the Mormon religion interpret the meaning of Easter. Thank you,

  5. Dear Maria – I'm sure Shawni will answer your questions when she gets a minute, but I thought maybe I could "put your mind to rest" a bit in the meantime. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed Mormons) just like Shawni. We believe in and have adoration for Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our Redeemer, our advocate with the Father. We believe that he is the son of God the Father. We believe that He was a perfect man. He set that beautiful example for us as he lived and taught us how we should live—at least how we should strive to live. He offered himself as a ransom for our sins and suffered and bled from every pore for us. Because of that suffering, he knows what we feel, how we suffer. He knows of our lonliness and our needs. He also hung on that cross for us and broke the bands of death. Because of his sacrifice, we will all be resurrected. Because of that sacrifice, we can repent and be worthy to stand in His presence someday. Everything our church does is in a effort to follow and to honor Jesus Christ, who is at the head of His church. We believe that he was more than just a prophet though he did prophesy. For more information, go to There's a whole section there about our beliefs in Jesus Christ. Hope this helps. Becky

  6. Morgan, yes, that helps a lot. Thank you. That goes to show you that you can't trust what you've "always heard or thought" – I appreciate your answer. One follow-up question, actually two, if you don't mind, then I'll go to the website to get more info. You said that you believe that Jesus is the son of God the Father. Does that mean that LDS does not believe in the Trinity, since that doctrine says that God and Jesus are the same person, not one being the son and one being the Father?

    Also, where do you believe that we are going to be resurrected to? Do you not believe that we all go to heaven immediately when we die? If we do, then why do we need a ressurection? I've always believed that the ressurection was to life on an earthly paradise, since the Lord's Prayer says "your will be done ON EARTH, as it is in heaven. Thanks so much for your help – I welcome answers from anyone who reads this.

  7. As always, I enjoy reading your bog and seeing the pictures. I have a question. We just got our kids a trampoline for Easter. I am curious about your trampoline rules etc… Do you freak out to have more than one Kid jumping at time? Have you ever had injuries?
    We researched for awhile and bought a nice trampoline with a net enclosure. I had a friend telll me she knows a mom who has parents sign waivers if their kid will be jumping! Or I have heard of another mom who only allows jumping if a persons parents are there. I want to chill and relax and let my kids just have fun. I would love to hear your thoughts on trampolines! ( forgive me if you have addressed this before!)

  8. Maria- I am also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To answer your follow up questions, we not believe in the Trinity, but rather that the Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate and distinct beings. However, they are one in purpose.

    As for your second question, we believe that when we die, we go to a spirit world, where we dwell from the time of our death until the resurrection. If we have been righteous, the spirit world will be a peaceful and happy place. If we have not been righteous, it will not be a peaceful place. At the resurrection our spirit and body will be reunited in their perfect form. At that time we will then be judged and received into a kingdom of glory (we as Latter-day Saints believe there is more than a heaven or hell, but rather 3 kingdoms of glory). This is a very simplified and as such might be a little confusing. For that I apologize, and strongly encourage you to visit (as previously suggested), and to even contact missionaries in your area. These missionaries will be able to answer your questions concerning our church much better than my humble attempts! Hope this helps though.

  9. Hi Shawni!

    I love reading your blog. You remind me of my mom because you both love motherhood so much and exemplify it in such a humble way.

    I just have a question about your blog. When my husband and I eventually have kids (my husband and I will have been married 1 year next month!) I want to do scrapbooking just like my mom did, because it's so important to me to document my future children's lives, but also I want to start a blog soon so that when we move away for grad school my family will be able to read it.

    So my question is, do you blog and scrapbook? Or is your blog your form of scrapbooking for your children? If so, I'm wondering if/how you can print out a blog to make it into a book/scrapbook for your children. Does any of this makes sense? 🙂 I guess I'm just wondering if it's best to just blog and kill two birds with one stone if you can eventually print it out for your children. I would have emailed you but I couldn't find your email address!


    Carly Reid

  10. Holy cow Max is tall! That picture with all the grandkids. I didn't know he was that tall haha. The little girl in the flower dress looks just like Claire.

  11. You look like such a fun family, that is so awesome, keep it up. I wanted to ask about your in ground trampoline, i at one point wanted to do that, do you like it? Did you just dig deep enough to put the whole thing in, or did you make adjustments?

  12. I can't even begin to describe how this post has touched me. Beautiful. Also, the picture of you and your husband is wonderful, and you look beautiful. Is that a pic with no flash?

  13. I would love to know where you got your pink pants! They are adorable : ) Also, where did your niece (in the black and white stripe dress) get her dress?

    Also, thanks to the commenters above regarding the Mormon faith, I'm from the midwest, so I too dont know much on beliefs about certain things like Easter & the Resurrection and it's always fun to learn more!

  14. Dear Maria,

    What thought-out, good questions you ask! Some others left such perfect answers that I hope covered your questions. (Thank you for those great comments!) It sounds as if we believe so many of the same things as you do, Maria. We, as Mormons, believe that Jesus Christ is God's son and a perfect being…SO much more than a prophet. That was the only way possible he could suffer for our sins and die for us. How grateful I am for His sacrifice. And I love how Easter reminds us so poignantly of the importance of that amazing act for us. Each and every one of us.

    You have such good, deep questions and please always feel free to ask anything here. I do hope that you will consider having some Mormon missionaries come discuss things with you in more depth. They can most likely explain things so much better in person. (as the others have mentioned) is also such a great resource to answer questions.

    Much love,

  15. I just LOVE those teenager jumping pictures Shawni…those capture the energy of those years just about perfect! Glad you had a great day.

  16. So many much more important topics on these comments, but I would love to know the name/brand of the chandeliers in the formal dining room from the Easter dinner. I love them!

  17. I am so sorry to hear that you are having thyroid issues. I remember that by the time I got on medication I felt like i was in a coma all day, every day. After doing a lot of research one of the thing I came up with is that the lab range for "normal" TSH is way too big–it used to be something like .7-7. Now the American College of Endocrinologists has changed it and it's supposed to be something like .7-4, but that's still huge. From what I've read, most people feel best when their replacement medicine (synthroid, armour, whatever) ends up with their TSH being right around 1. One of my sisters feels better at 2. So don't let your doctor say that just because you're in the range of normal, you should be fine. I also took another medicine for a lot of years called cytomel. Some people just don't convert T4 to T3 very well and cytomel is synthetic T3. I felt like the difference was subtle but noticeable. There's a lot of good info about thyroid stuff at Good luck to you in your search to feel better!

  18. What a vibrant beautiful day! Your photos are always so gorgeous, Shawni. I know you love all the home decor questions, but I wondered if you guys painted your stair rail white or was it already put in by the builder? We have the honey oak banister and I've considered painting it white. An arduous task, I'm sure, but cheaper than replacing. We have refinished our kitchen with white cabs and I want to continue to lighten things up…

    comment here or at lisaowens99 at hotmail dot com


  19. just found your blog and i love it! i also have 5 kids, also 4 girls and 1 boy but i'm the opposite of you-my son is the youngest! your pictures are beautiful

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