I figure I better not leave all these pics. for my “August little things” post because it will get way too gigantic.
Lots happened the first week of school!
First and foremost: schedule hit us like a truck.
Scriptures bright and early at 6:30.
And this is how Lucy generally spends that quality time:
Ha!  I mentioned on Instagram that I’m pretty sure she gets some spiritual epiphanies from those discussions:)
The second day:
Lu and I have been riding the tandem bike to school together.  Here she is waiting for me:

And Bo just begs with those puppy-dog eyes to come along, poor girl (she gets walks later…still not ready for her to be on that busy street.)

We have had some fun times on that tandem so far.

(and I go straight to my workout after I drop her off.)

A couple times we have run into some of her friends riding along, which is kind of fun.

Love those girls!

July and August are our months of monsoon season here in the desert.

We LOVE it.

The sky starts to get all rumbly…

…and then it just DUMPS.
That happened a couple times that first week.  Here are Elle, Claire and Bo dancing in the pouring rain:

And the double rainbow that showed up:

There are some boys in Lucy’s class who come over to hang here pretty much every day.  We love them.  We need more boys around here!  They usually jump on the trampoline and swim, but sometimes Lucy will go hang with them too.

They are the kindest, most well-mannered boys.

Soccer carpools are here in full force:

That particular one was right after I dropped them off under a rumbling sky, and they cancelled practice 10 minutes later so here they are, sweaty from their ten minutes of running.

(As a side-note, man i was grumpy for one reason or another that day!)

Bo is helpful with our 6:30 wake-up-calls:

…that along with opening the shades…it’s so bright at 6:30 in the morning!

One of those first mornings our friends decided would be a good time to have some adult time at the lake.

So we went.

It was right after a monsoon storm, and the sky was so clear and crystal.

We sifted through the post-summer stuff to try to get organized around here and I found this book Lucy had worked her tail off on this summer:

Looks like she took more time making that thing than actually accomplishing the tasks πŸ™‚

She killed it on reading:

Slacked off a tad bit on Math:

And zones?  Well, not so hot either.

But those colors.


More chess:

It was national chocolate chip cookie day and naturally we really had to celebrate that one.

Elle got to go to the lake with a bunch of friends:

(I stole that from her friend’s snapchat)

That first week Grace went on her first date and also got asked to Homecoming (details about that back HERE).

We tried to get the green out of Elle’s hair with some tomato paste before a photo shoot:

It worked…sort of…(she was in pics for hair extensions, and they didn’t have any green ones…ha!)

(She’s been doing a little work for “barefootblonde” this summer.)

Piano lessons started up again.

The girls have a new teacher since our old teacher moved away and we’re all adjusting pretty well to the change.  Lucy was questionable at first, and we were worried it was because she couldn’t see the music as well as she did last year.  I think part of that is true, but part of it is just adjusting for that girl.

I spent some time at the high school for “back to school night” walking all Grace’s classes while she was at tennis.

Loved being there and imagining her in those classes…wishing I could be a fly on the wall sometimes.

We went to the first football scrimmage of the season with the Young Women and positively melted in the heat.

It sure was pretty though.

I also got to spend time at the Junior High for their back-to-school night.

This time around I got to go with my student:

…who was fresh from soccer practice.

Not pictured are the three-times-a-week tennis lessons Grace and Claire go to (Grace can drive them so I’m not around to document, dang it, but HOORAY for driving…it is the BEST).

Also not pictured is our counter scattered with all kinds of new books and school supplies.

And the job charts that we revamped.

And the grocery shopping trying to fill the fridge for more regular family dinners and also new sack lunch ideas (we got some lunch stuff the kids are excited about).

And the still-easing-into-routine late-nights that turn into grumpy mornings because we’re still trying to figure out how to get more sleep around here.

But at least these pictures will remind me how the first week of school looked in a nutshell.

Phew.  One down, lots and lots more to go.


  1. Hi Shawni, can you share the source for your white round table that they are playing games on? I'm looking for a minimal white table for our family room. Thank you! You have the best taste!

    1. Thank you:) We ordered them from a local guy here. I think if you google "roman shades" you could find some good sources wherever you live.

  2. I noticed you took Young Women to a fb scrimmage at the high school. Have you seen the article on FB about non members feeling their kids are excluded? The author lives in Arizona so I was wondering if there are just large populations of Mormons there?

    1. Yes there are large populations of Mormons here and this is something I think about a lot. We do our best to invite neighbors and friends who are not LDS to things we do, but I know we can do a better job! I'm not a facebook girl, but I'll see if I can find that article to get a better idea of the specifics.

    2. Ok that is the best letter! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

      I will have to let my thoughts on this marinate a little bit, I'm in between some kids' activities right now and my attention is divided, so I'll have to come back, but for now I just have to say that I think this woman is spot-on and I wish she were my neighbor! I have a really hard time with how "segregated" it must feel to live in an area with so many Mormons. There are a lot of us here, and it's so easy to stick to what you know and the people who surround you so much. I mean, we gather a lot, not just on Sundays, and we have "callings" where we serve in the church, some of which take many hours. I'm not saying this as an excuse, because there is no excuse for being exclusive, I'm just explaining that we are kind of a weird culture, to be honest. But I want just what this lady wants. I want us to all be a big cohesive unit that learns from each other. And we do, to a certain extent, but we always have a lot to work on. My non-LDS friends inspire me in so many countless ways and I'm so grateful for them! I want more of them!

      I do think the reaching out needs to go both ways though in order for it to work. I love this line from the letter: "I believe every religion and every denomination could benefit from being more inclusive, but I write this letter in relation to my own experiences and memories and the concerns I have for my children. My Jewish/Agnostic husband could write an identical letter, based on his history, and just change the greeting to Dear Christians or Dear Italian Catholics. We can all admit that it feels good to belong to a group, but too often it’s at the expense of living a life void of those who are different from us, and I believe this is a tragedy."

      It IS a tragedy. And we need to do more to remedy it.

      I'll be back when I don't have a group of fifth graders trying to cook in my kitchen πŸ™‚

  3. Would love to hear your thoughts on the open letter to Gilbert LDS families that has been widely shared recently. It is written by a non LDS mom who lives in your community and thinks her children are being excluded in many ways. Seems like a very appropriate topic for back to school. In it she movingly writes about Morman Missionaries asking to "serve" her and what she would actually like from the Mormana who live all around her. Very appropriate for back to school thinking. She wants her children to have a great year at school just as much as you want that for your children.

  4. I love that you and Lucy ride a tandem bike to school! I'm just curious if its hard to back home by yourself?
    Love your back to school tid bits, we are just finishing our first week back, so many adjustments from summer life

  5. I love reading your posts – I'm always inspired on ways to make my family stronger. You really are an inspiration.
    Also – could you please tell me where you got that lovely multi coloured rug in your mud room (?).
    Thanks – Jenn

  6. I HAVE THE BEST TIP FOR ELLE! I have really naturally blond blond hair. Every summer my hair would be green from swimming, until a hair dresser told my mom about the Aspirin trick. Fill a bowl with warm water and dissolve a good 15 or so Aspirin in the warm water. Dunk hair and – voila! You can literally watch the green coming out.

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