I’m thankful for Harry Potter.

Because as I sit here and type my two oldest kids are giddy as can be as they sit in a theater awaiting the midnight showing of the latest and greatest H.P. adventure. Elle’s with a bunch of her friends who planned this ages ago, and Dave consented to take Max and a bunch of his friends along too. (He wins father-of-the-year for that one for sure.)

My little girls are tucked safely in bed and I need to join them because I think I’m getting sick…and getting a cold sore…not a great combo right before I leave to speak at Time Out for Women tomorrow….

But first I just wanted to add one more thing about volleyball before I forget.

Because last month the girls and I had a memorable road trip to watch another one of Max’s tournaments. It was in a city that is a couple hours away from here and although the girls had all sorts of other ideas to fill up their Saturday, I loaded them kicking and screaming into the car (not really…they were actually pretty compliant but kicking and screaming sounds better).

My Dad LOVES road trips. And I know why: enclosed in a car is where some of the best discussions come alive. So last month I decided I agree with him…road trips are great.

Elle was the designated photographer.
And it’s a good thing because look at this gorgeous countryside she got to photograph!
(Yeah, although the desert does have some breath-taking beauty, sometimes you have to kinda search for it…and we did NOT find it on this trip.)

So instead of oooohind and ahhhhing about the scenery we played a great game with these books:We have a few of them for different ages…each time one of the kids gets an answer right they get a nickel. And believe me, those babies accumulate well and then equal happy kids at the next gas station stop because they get to buy a treat with their hard-earned nickels. (Thanks for the idea, Claudia!)

I have always been very anti having a DVD player in your car. I mean, come on, that’s where discussions happen, right? But I must say that I changed my tune with the emergence of Lucy’s reign in our family. Now I thank my lucky stars for our car DVD player each and every time we get in the car for over a half hour because those great discussions I was talking about would NOT be happening if Lucy had her screaming and tantrum-ing way. Instead, she’s nestled in happily watching some show…until we look at her wrong, then we get this:

The volleyball was great…for those two or three minutes poor Max got to play. See him in there? He’s number nine in the middle: Check out that concentration.

The girls were VERY enthralled in the volleyball:

They did, at least, make some serious “spirit banners” in the car on the way, and held them up for approximately four-and-a-half seconds:
(I kid about the “serious” part, but at least they tried…although those signs are totally overexposed, they say “G” “O”, “M” “A” “X.”)

Dave was there too…he’s the one who brought Max and stayed all day long.

The girls and I had to turn around and take off to get back for the trunk-or-treat party not long after we arrived.

But I’ll tell you, that trip was totally worth it.

I’m with my Dad: I’m thankful for road trips.

Similar Posts


  1. Love how Dave expresses his feelings about picture taking in each photo of him.

    I'd love to hear a review on the Harry Potter movie. I heard there was some implied content in one of the scenes. I just hate that Hollywood has to do that sort of thing in such great movies. I'd love to know so I can make rational judgements over who of us gets to see it!

  2. I LOVE roadtrips!!!
    Except for the aftermath….. in the Suburban.
    Dave is getting to be such a good sport about getting his picture taken. I think they have to just give in to it after a while.
    And volleyball's awesome.
    GO MAX!

  3. You are exactly right, the reward is always so much sweeter when we have had to sacrifice or suffer a little to get it. Thank you for the reminder:) And congrats on your new calling! You will do a fabulous job, what blessed YW they are. It is amazing the immediate and overwhelming love you have for the girls. What a comfort it is to know that the Lord is with you every step of the way:)

  4. I really have enjoyed reading about your life on your blogs. I'm grateful you went to bed this night and made it to TOFW. I listened to your comments that morning (which is how I was introduced to this site). Thank you for sharing your insights into mothering. I read your book about a year ago and it just broke my heart reading about your daughter's syndrome. I appreciate your candid, sweet, and loving attitude. Most of all, I appreciated the Spirit you and your mom shared with my mom, sister, and I as we attended TOFW. It was an answer to my prayers. I will include you and your daughter in my prayers… Thanks again.

  5. Shawni,
    I am Tara Martinsen's sister. Just wanted you to know we attended TOFW (My mom, sister and sisters-in-law) Your talk was amazing! I have to admit, I kind of got sad though during it because I knew how much Tara would have loved to have been there. She thinks so highly of you and your family. I miss her!!!

    Anyway, thanks for being a good example and it was fun to hear you speak first-hand!

    Kristen Clegg

  6. Hey Shawnie, I loooove your blog and reading about your sweet and GORGEOUS children! I have a suggestion (not a criticism..just one of those things I am a stickler about) and that is to always make sure that Lucy's carseat straps are not twisted and that they are snug. I noticed the straps in one of the pics and carseat safety is one of those things that is near and dear to my heart. I hope you don't mind me pointing this out! Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving/Black Friday! 🙂

Leave a Reply

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