Dear Dave,

Since you are fifteen hours ahead of me on the other side of the world safely engaged in all that tomorrow holds (I hope not too much fish-eyeball soup) and I can’t reach you, let me just fill you in on some of the highlights from home:

Elle and Grace almost set of the fire alarm when they burnt two pitas almost to a flaming point trying to make their own garlic bread. Our house is gonna stink for a while.

Claire finally confessed (after two days of extremely convincing denial) to being the mastermind behind the artwork all over the leather back seat of the car with ball-point pen…and that in all actuality it really wasn’t her best friend who she had been blaming. Hmmm…trying to figure out how to deal with this new little trend she’s got going….and that the traditional-hairspray-to-get-it-out-trick isn’t working.

Max is apparently the only one in his class so far who hasn’t jumped on the extra credit option for this semester’s big-deal country reports to bring a traditional food from the country they are reporting on. I feel like the worst Mom on the planet because it’s my fault. We were out of town when he did his report and he wouldn’t wait for us to get home because he didn’t want to be so nervous in anticipation. I don’t blame him but I am so sick about it. Everyone else’s Moms were there helping them…making the food or traipsing all over the place tracking down where to buy it. It’s not just the food and the fact that he didn’t get a great grade after all his serious hard work, but the fact that I wasn’t there in person to support him and help him out. I can’t get my heart to stop aching about it.

Lucy got stuck inside the toilet. One leg just stuck right down in there, croc and all. Luckily someone flushed today.

I think I ate a whole box of Thin Mints by myself.

I had the most amazing, informative two-hour phone discussion with a Dad of a child with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome who lives back east. He found me through a friend’s blog who posted my post about Lucy there. I can’t wait to tell you all I learned. This guy knows so much above and beyond any doctor we’ve found or anything we’ve been able to find on the Internet, and as a parent he’s in it too…not just some detached doctor. I am elated.

While I was wrapped in conversation, our sweet oldest daughter tenderly put all our other kids to bed without being asked…ok, except for Max. Sometimes she makes me want to cry because she is so amazing.

I could go on, but I’m going to try to go to bed early since I spent all afternoon dragging our kids around on a wild goose chase to get some stronger medicine for my allergies…and I’m thinking tonight’s the night I’ll be able to finally sleep.

I love you. I hope you can feel that and our prayers stretching across the ocean to you.

Love, me

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  1. Hi, it’s me Kerri again (Seattle family living in Munich for awhile) and your blog is a daily highlight of mine! Once again, your post was so clever, funny, real and raw – thank you! Feel better and good luck holding down the fort solo!

  2. “go to bed early? Shawni, it was 11:30!” Get to bed even earlier tonight.:) Take care…lots of it. GLAD to hear you connected with another parent — that’s worth more than anything when dealing with children with a disability. (in my humble:) opinion)

  3. Shawni, I am SOOOO happy Heavenly Father sent you some one who could help you with Lucy! SOOO HAPPY!

    I love that you had someone get stuck IN the toilet! You maybe didn’t like it so much, but I was laughing out loud. Haven’t had that one happen yet. 🙂

    Good luck with Hubby out of town. That is never fun.

  4. What a true blessing to get to talk to another parent that is dealing with the same situation. We get so much strength from others. This is another great highlight of blogging.
    I would love a CD of the trip, no rush. I stold some from your blog already(:

  5. Hi, I always enjoy reading your blog you are so real and I like real people. My heart goes out to you and your family for dear little Lucy. It is so great that you are able to help her so much. You have such a beautiful family with so much love and that is often so much more than any doctor or medication can help. Because you all love her and care about her so much, she will do good, I truly think that. Just wanted to mention I like a product called Goo Gone for removing ink from leather, good luck with it. Take care.

  6. I suffer from really bad allergies too..

    Just in case you haven’t tried these yet, I thought I would post what I use (the stronger the better!)

    Aerius allergy pills (2 on bad days, dr. approved); Zaditor eye drops (life saver!), Nasonex spray… there is also a pill called Singulair (but it is for asthma and allergies, so not sure if that would work for you).

    Hope that helps you!

  7. Okay,
    1. the power of the blog world is so incredibly awesome. So happy you found someone to help you guys through this.
    2. Lucy’s foot in the toilet that is so very funny, but maybe not at the time.
    3. Allergies…I know all about them I am so allergic to the state of CA that every spring I think we should move. I’ve tried everything, finally going to see an allergy Dr. I’ve had success with Singulair, Nasonex nasal spray and eye drops. Good look on that.
    4. love the letter to Dave, I am sure its hard for him to be gone. Whenever Mark is gone it seems like things are always crazy. Hope he gets home soon.
    5. And going to bed early means more like 10 not midnight. You crazy night owl.

    Okay I am done now.

  8. Shawni, I love your blog! You don’t know me, but I came to your blog from your parents’ when they linked your post about Lucy. So here I am, another unknown friend who is here to offer my love to you and your sweet family! I’m so happy you were able to connect with another parent who has some light to shed on Lucy’s condition! It’s so wonderful how our prayers can be answered. 🙂 Anyway… I wanted to suggest trying a magic eraser for the pen in the car… those things are pretty amazing.

  9. Putting the sisters to bed…that is amazing! I am so glad to know you have “those days” too where someone draws on the car seats and lies about it and you have non-flushers at your house too! Wonderful to find someone who can help you with Lucy – you will be amazing resources for each other!

  10. I love you Shawni. It makes me laugh how crazy life can be – be thankful the toilet was clean, we’ve had it the other way and it’s NOT pretty. HOnestly, you are living my life right now.

    Randy’s been gone all week again and last night I about cried my eyes out. All the kids were crazy and the night ended with Ellie having a black eye and bruised cheek – nice for an 18 mth old and of course no one knew what happened, Austin broke his arm on Saturday right as Randy was pulling in from being gone for 6 days.

    I love how you post these! You need to remember all the craziness and how you survived it all. I’ll email you with what I’ve found from asking around about Lucy.

    Hang in there!


  11. you make me wet my pants with laughter!

    something about your blog makes me long for motherhood. i think i shall read it DAILY when i have this kid… just so i can remind myself.

  12. It is so amazing how the Lord lines people up to help us when we most need it, even a stranger back east. I think you deserved to eat 2 boxes of Thin Mints! Keep it real. As far as Max’s report goes, you can’t do everything. If Max is having a hard time about that…talk to him. I thought my mom wouldn’t help me with a spelling bee because she didn’t care. Truth be told, she was constantly driving to my grandma’s house, trying to make her comfortable, when on her deathbed due to cancer. Then I understood and loved my mom more. Just let them know when you are overwhelmed!

  13. Shawni i love your blog. i wish i knew you in real life. i do feel like i do know you a little and know a tiny glimpse into the life of your family and the part about your oldest gal putting the kids to bed made me totally tear up. What a great kid.

    (Sorry you are so beat up about Max’s project. i remember my daughters first month in preschool i forgot to turn in her book order and the lady in charge already turned it in to Scholastic. I cried for the longest time so sad over my daughter being the only kid in the class not to get any books! I presume i will have more of these days!)

  14. lovin the lucy’s foot in the toilet story, and only a mom of more than a few kids would think to be grateful that everyone had flushed that day. so hysterical but i bet not so much at the time.

    i second the singulair suggestion. i wish i had prescription insurance or that i had thought ahead when at the mexican pharmacy… flonase (rx nasal spray) in conjunction with zyrtec or singulair has also worked well for me.

    excuse the all lower case. i’m in my e.e. cummings phase.

  15. Hi, you don’t know me, but I’m learning what a small world it is. I just found your blog through your mom’s post on However, I had read your “bio” on your parents’ other site a long time ago, so I sort of knew who you were. I’ve been a valuesparenting member for almost two years now. Love it. Anyway, several months ago I found a new blog friend in OK. Once in a while I will click on one of the blogs on her list, if something catches my eye. Here’s the funny, small world part. I clicked on a blog and read a post about a trip this person had taken to Mexico with friends. Fun stuff. Well then a few days ago, reading on vp, I found your blog and headed over here. I read back a few posts and lo, a trip to Mexico with friends. I thought “no way”, but, sure enough, it’s the same trip! Isn’t that crazy? (It was the Farnsworths in AZ, by the way) Sometimes, as a blog stalker, it really feels like stalking… It looks like you guys had a blast, though! I just thought it was so insane that I happened upon you both from totally different places.

    Good luck while your hubby is gone! This post made me laugh so hard. It’s so great to know that I’m not the only one with writing on things (our latest was a recliner) and things in toilets. (Can’t say mine was a kid, though)

    Sorry for the long comment!! Take care!

  16. Oh Shawni, you are so cute. I hope you get some sleep. It is tricky business when those hubbies are gone. That’s when things always get really crazy. Hope he won’t be long.

  17. Girl, you make me totally laugh. I love how you write. Will you give me writing lessons? I have those same things happening over in these parts but can’t seem to express them the same way. One day. Love ya.

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