I see that Elle is going to Girl’s Camp, as the YW President do you go with your Ward? I get to go for a few days, but can’t get off work to go the whole week. Girl’s camp is a favorite around here, hope you get a chance to go.

Yes! I am going to camp…in fact, Elle and I are gearing up right now to leave on Tuesday. I only went to camp once growing up (we were always at Bear Lake), and I’ve only been for one night as a leader years ago so I’m in a steep learning curve! We are so excited though…trying to gear up physically as well as spiritually. I’m trying to pack our family for three trips back-to-back by Tuesday morning so things have been a little nutty around here.

I love the Summer Goals idea. Can you tell me more about the reward part of it? [question from this post]

I forgot to mention that when we started out doing summer goals years ago each goal had a monetary reward attached (that’s what we did in my family growing up because we bought all our own clothes, etc.). But we’ve switched over to more group rewards so the kids can help each other out and encourage each other along the way. (Yeah, that’s the IDEA, but it certainly doesn’t always happen.) One year they earned “Rock Band” together. (That was our most successful year.) Last year and this year they have been earning trips for spring break. We have a fun one planned and we want them to feel like they’re working towards it.

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

Yeah, this is super, duper late because the book was sold out for a while (they were saving copies for Time Out for Women so they weren’t available). But there was a pretty big demand so they are coming out with a soft-cover book in the Fall. Now the original book is available again for an AMAZING deal: $4.99. Seriously, my Mom and I had to pay $12 as the authors when it first came out so wow, that’s a good deal (and we’re mad we bought so many at our “special author price” 🙂 I’m assuming that the soft-cover will be more expensive than that so click here if you’re interested. (There’s a link on the side-bar of this blog too…)

I am SO curious about your time-management. When do you shower? Put away laundry? Scrapbook/manage pictures and family memories? Shop for groceries or clothes? Clean the toilets? Veg out and watch something on TV?
This next question goes with the first so I’m answering them together:
I enjoy blogging, but don’t get to it as much as I’d like. When do you make time for it? How do you schedule your day? Any more mom organizing tips? I’d love them!

I am not organized. You should see the stuff covering my desk right now. I can’t keep up and I feel bad if I make it appear that I do here on this blog. Case in point: This week Lucy had two important doctor appointments about a half-hour away. I realized I was completely out of gas on the way, but prayed my way to arrive on time planning on getting gas on our way home. As Lu and I got out of the car I realized I forgot my purse. Yep, that important thing with insurance cards and money in it. Luckily Lucy had been to these doctors before so we were able to meet with the doctors, and luckily I have an amazing friend who moved clear over there a while ago and her husband left work and came to give me money to get home. Does that sound like an organized mother? I’m thinking not. Although I am on a continual quest to switch things up, I am more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of mother.

I do, however, have a few things up my sleeve that really help me manage things around here:

1) I make sure that the most important things take priority. Dave comes first (even though sometimes I’m sure he doesn’t think he does:). In my mind he is tops and because of that I feel ok about letting other things slide once in a while. Our children are right next to him on the priority list and sometimes I have to rearrange other “important” things to be with them when I can tell they need some extra individual time. Please don’t think I am perfect at this because I’m not. I make mistakes and I miss things with them all the time, but because I have the mindset that they come first it helps balance everything else. Still, I get this guilty complex quite often that I just can’t be everywhere I need to be when I need to be there. I have SO many things I WANT to do in life! But I know that if I put family first other things will work out. And that is what fulfills me.

Right along with family I really try to prioritize prayer and scriptures. This is really the highest priority because I know that if I put them first I find that everything else falls into place. Right now I’m working on revamping my spiritual study because I know that it will help me use my time more wisely and lose that “guilty” feeling for having to let some things slide.

2) Max and Elle have started doing their own laundry. They are not great at it, but it helps on the laundry front.

3) I am a really quick shower-er and I don’t bother with much make-up. My hair is thin so it dries quick and I can be ready start to finish in 20-30 minutes tops. Plus I don’t wash my hair every day so that makes it much quicker. Is that TMI? 🙂

4) As to when I find time to blog, I used to do it when my kids were at school but this summer I wake up early to do it. I also pre-schedule posts to go up when I’m out of town or when things get crazy busy. I put this blog up pretty high in the priority ranking (maybe the fact that my posts are quite regular make it seem like I have it together) because it’s a great outlet for me. I always have SO many thoughts I want to write down, I feel like in some way I am helping other mothers out there, and most importantly it keeps our family history (which is essential when you have a memory like mine). But it does take some serious time, so I’m continually trying to find a balance.

5) I don’t scrapbook.

6) I don’t watch television except for one show that Dave and I watch together as one of our “things.” I have this really weird aversion to TV and I’m not sure why. It makes me stressed out when I hear it’s been turned on. I know, I’m weird.

7) I squeeze in grocery shopping whenever I can and often Dave will pick up some stuff for me on his way home from work. I wish I were more organized about that.

8) I have a lady who comes to help me clean. I cannot explain what a blessing she is! Dave talked me in to hiring her a couple years ago and I had some serious misgivings when we decided to go that route because I feel like WE should clean our house as a family. But what I have realized is that she helps ME out, not the kids. They still do serious jobs every Saturday as well as morning chores, after-dinner chores, etc, and it helps me be a little more available for their needs and other things that need attention. I know that this is a luxury and that many people can’t afford, but we give up other things to help pay for cleaning help. It’s worth it a thousand times over.

9) I can function ok on very little sleep. I need to get better at getting more because I feel it catching up with me.

And now I must RUN over to a meeting for my other priority: Young Women and all that goes into girls’ camp in a few days!

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. You are helping other mothers out here! Thank you for keeping your blog a high priority and for your continual good ideas and upliftment!

  2. I really enjoy your blog. So much inspiration in so many ways.

    Another question- and I've been wondering it for a good long while. So what DO you do with all the pictures of your kids? You don't scrapbook. I have 5 kids too and think it would almost be impossible to keep up on that many scrapbooks anyway, but how do you plan to be able to "hand over" pictures of them to them? Do you do photo books like Blurb or something? Do you plan on attacking that later? I take a lot of pictures of my kids as well, and I feel a little sick wondering how to preserve them in a meaningful way.

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question!! You're such an inspiration and I often think of you when my 2 boys (7 months and 3.5 years) are needing/wanting/demanding 1000% of me and my attention and I just want to cry and take a nap, ha! I have so much guilt over all of the things I DON'T do, so again, thanks so much for responding! 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for these question and answer posts! I love all the questions, and love even more reading the answers on how you manage life.
    I have 4 kids (3 months to 8 years) and have so many moments when reading your blog inspires me to do better, to work harder and to have fun with it all! You really are an inspiration, and I love your ability to honestly show the downs in life without being negative about it.
    Can I ask a question (or two…or three…)?!
    I have a Nikon (D100) and am having some serious trouble when I take pictures of anything white, such as my daughters blessing dress, or even a bright room. The camera seems to think things are too bright and therefore darkens the photo. I know this problem could be solved by switching to manual, but I don't even know how to do that or what to do once I have switched to manual! Help!

  5. P.S.
    We started summer goals with our son because of you. Hmmm. Come to think of it, we should probably do that with all the kids!
    Baby steps, Baby steps.

  6. I'd love to know what a "day in the life" looks like… generally speaking of course! What are you aiming for? It sounds like you exercise in the morning? How does that work?

  7. I am new to your blog and I really enjoy it! The joy you have for your family and your life leaps right off the computer screen! I am also going to Young Women's camp in a few weeks. I am totally excited. I have been put in charge of the food. This may mean that I'm never asked back, but I'll do anything if it means I can spend time with the YW.

  8. I constantly find your blog to be a source of information and it inspires me to do better or just plain not give up! I so appreciate what you do for us and what a blessing, that while you are journaling your days you are able to help so many others! Now that's multitasking at its best. I once heard someone say (Sarah Palin?) when asked if she could have it all, she responded "Yes! Just not at the same time! So many times I think we need to remember that it doesn't all have to happen in the same season of our lives. If we want a fabulous career or to be able to travel,etc. why can't we do it when our kids are older or gone? We can, but I think our society puts such pressure on us to have it all and be all and as we all know, that's impossible! So thank you again! It is truly appreciated!

  9. Love your info on the cleaning help. I often joke with my husband…"Clean house or smart kids…choose one!" By nature…clean house wasn't chosen 🙂 My husband also suggested we hire help and I've always resisted (although inside I'd LOVE IT!) for the same reasons you did. There's no reason why we can't do it! I just need to be better. This post has helped me with a different perspective. Maybe one day I will…

  10. Hey Shawni, You said you were revamping your scripture study…(I showed Charity when she stayed here so she too can give you her opinion), but I LOVE this great scripture journal I found at Women's Conference this spring. The website is http://www.personalponderings.com and I blogged about it May 17th in a favorites post. Anyway, wanted to share…it's awesome and thought you'd enjoy!!

  11. love all the answers!!!!!!

    I used to think a cleaning lady was a luxury until I had baby number 4! Now I'm cleaning again after 6 months rest and I don't mind too much but it really helped in those early days!

  12. Thank you for being so open!!! You are an inspiration to quiet little me who peeks in on your life ~ I have been motivated, encouraged, and inspired by you many times. Thank you!

  13. Thank you so much for keeping your blog on the top of your priority list. I love it, and it is nice to know that there are other mothers out there who are going through the same day-to-day stuff as I am. Love your blog, and love that you give so much information. It does really help!

  14. I have a question for you. Where do you get all your cute clothes? I am tall (not as tall as you), 5'10" and I really struggle to find clothes that fit and are modest. Thanks!

  15. I am so grateful that keeping your blog up is such a high priority. I look forward to looking at it every day. I have three kids three and under and your blog inspires me to keep going and to enjoy the moments. So please know that you really do help other mothers.

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