I am using each Friday as a way to catch up with questions I receive. I am posting a few each week. Here you go:

Hey just wondering if there was a way to order your book for Mothers Day. It’s sold out on the Deseret book website 🙁

Unfortunately it is sold out most places and I’m so sad about that, especially with Mother’s Day around the corner! They say they are doing a reprint in softcover soon, but it’s sad it’s not ready for Mother’s Day this year because I’ve had quite a few people ask. It looks like there are a few you can buy from Amazon here and remember there’s a give-away where you may just win one here 🙂 post-edit note: Susan R. from “Five Great Kiddos” blog has offered to send people a book if they would like one (she has a stockpile 🙂 For more info. get a hold of her here.

Is there anything else you would recommend as a good Mother’s Day gift?

(Ok, so I just made up that question myself, but it’s a good one in light of the big day coming up, wouldn’t you agree? 🙂

Why yes, dear reader, there is something else I would recommend. It is a series of podcasts entitled “Deliberate Motherhood” that my mom and sisters and I have put together. We all love to discuss motherhood highs and lows, ins and outs. Often times it results in laughing ourselves to tears when we are really tired. One night when we were together we decided to record some of the things we were talking about and voila, we started a series of podcasts. You can get the first series for free for Mother’s Day…check it out here.

Sometimes it’s good for a mom to have a gift she can give to herself on Mother’s Day. So there you go!

I have been meaning to ask about the picture above your fireplace. Where did you get it? I love it!

This post tells all about that family motto than hangs above our fireplace.

What kinds of paints did you use? [in this post] We used watercolor paints this year, plus the traditional dye. Just curious…

We just use those little craft paints you get at Michaels or JoAnns in those little plastic bottles. We use them for all kinds of things (see this post too), the kids love them!

This is kind of a strange question to throw in here, but Why doesn’t little Lucy wear glasses? Will it not help with her vision?

That is a good question. Although Lucy’s syndrome causes vision loss, it is very gradual and different from your average vision loss. The kind of vision loss she has is called retinitis pigmentosa and it affects the retinas most generally affecting the peripheral vision. Her eyes haven’t been bad enough until now to warrant glasses but she does need them now, and we are working on getting her prescription. The problem is that we have two completely different prescriptions from different doctors so now we need to sort of start over again, which is fun, because doctor office waiting rooms are some of my favorite places to be 🙂

I was wondering if you would do some more photo lessons for dealing with the eternal sun we have. You seem to have trees where you live; down here in Vegas my poor children think that tall trees are palm trees! I do plenty of indoor photography but I really have trouble with the bright light and NO shade anywhere that we deal with. I would love some tips for correct aperture settings in the white-hot sun.

When you live in the desert you have to be quite creative with your light (all that bright sun can make it pretty tricky!). But to be honest I love how bright the sun is here because it reflects from the pavement and makes light beautiful. The best times for taking photos out in the open are really early or just before sunset when the sun rays are slanted:I personally like the slanted light and that it’s bright, but if you wait a little longer you get this: No, not necessarily that attitude exuding from your child’s face, but that light 🙂 To see more pictures (and read a “once upon a time” story click here).

Here’s one of my favorites also just out in a field…no tall trees for as far as you can see:
(for more in this field click here.)

But of course, oftentimes you can’t wait til the perfect time of day to snap a shot. During the day I just seek shade wherever I can get it. Our back porch is shaded and I love it. A wall or building casts a shadow. Even under a slide at the park. You can find it if you just keep your eye out. I don’t know that changing the aperture would help on the settings, etc…I just try to keep my ISO as low as possible in bright light and watch the shutter speed.

Where did you ski in Utah? Haven’t been really skiing in over 10 years, but would LOVE to go again for reals [this question was from this post]

I know skiing season is almost over, but maybe not since there was a blizzard there last weekend. (I was FREEZING all weekend.) Anyway, I’m not the greatest person to ask this question because I’m really not a skiing connoisseur, but for what it’s worth, we really mostly do Park City because we know it best. When Dave and I went alone here, we did Deer Valley but boy howdy that place is expensive (but super nice with no snowboarders who scare me:) This last year we went to Snow Basin and Solitude which I really liked because I love trying something new, but it felt good to get back to Park City that I knew so well.

What time do Max and Elle wake up in the morning? I want my older kids to wake up at 6:30 in the morning to fit in there piano practicing? Do they practice in the morning too?

Max and Elle wake up at 6:30. Elle practices before scriptures at 7:00 and Max just finishes up things to get ready for school. Max practices right after school. It just happens to be how they want it. Max would be horrified to get up too early to practice and Elle would be equally horrified to have to practice after school. Grace practices after breakfast after Max and Elle have headed out the door.


  1. I just went to Seagull Book yesterday and found your book there for $4.99!! I picked me up a copy, since that is one of the things I wanted for Mother's Day. I don't know if your reader has a Seagull Book around, but if so, make sure to head in there for a great book at a great price!!

  2. I have another question. You mentioned a long time ago about something special that you do with the kids for Fast Sunday. Would you please share that with us?

  3. Yes, I would love to know your Fast Sunday activities. Also, how on earth do you manage all of your childrens' schedules? Like how do you manage to fit everything in? Just from what you shared about Max, Elle, and Grace's piano times looks complicated enough…Thanks!

  4. I have a question! 🙂

    How do you decide which (and how many) activities to sign your kids up for? I am just now starting to struggle with this (my kids are almost-6, 4, 15 months, and a new baby is due in the fall). My 4 year old wants to start ballet in the fall, and my 5 year old wants to go soccer, girl scouts, and piano lessons (and actually about 5 other things!) in the fall. There is a really good chance I will be on bed rest all of September and October, and then will have a newborn, so the whole thing terrifies me. I talked her out of piano, after I told her she would have homework every day and she said "I don't want to do homework after school, I want to play!" I told her "then you won't want to do homework AND practice piano!" and she agreed. But I'm not sure about all the other stuff. And I know it will only get worse as they get older!

  5. I keep a small stockpile of "The Mother's Book of Secrets", so if anyone would like one, I would be happy to send one (no charge).
    They are the perfect gift for baby showers, birthdays and Mother's Day. I've probably bought this book at least 100 ntimes over. They were having a sale at Deseret Book and I bought every last book. Well, I left one copy. Wasn't that nice of me?

  6. I love the new 71 toes logo! You have a gorgeous family. Susan R. I WANT A COPY PLEASE, I'LL PAY WHATEVER YOU PAID ONLINE FOR IT. I just can't seem to find it anywhere. I'm probably driving my husband crazy, but that's really what I would love for mother's day. I'm expecting my first baby and would love a good read! 🙂

  7. Sorry to do this back and forth on your bog Shawni, but Debbi M. please email me with your address. Go to my blog for my email address, I don't want to post it here.

  8. I love your Q&A post!!! Your blog is so inspiring…you are sooo inspiring! Thank you for being willing to share.

    I have a question. When you go on vacation and you don't bring your "real camera" what camera do you bring? You pictures still great!

  9. Here is a silly question which I think about every time I see pictures of precious Lucy: is there a story behind why she LOVES necklaces? She especially seems to love a big pinkish bead ball necklace that reminds me of June Cleaver for some reason!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *