I love my in-laws.

All eight-gazillion of them (there are a LOT …especially if you count my side AND Dave’s side each with nine kids as “base”).

But today I’m talking about Dave’s side:Because eight of the nine kids in his family were here after Christmas (we sorely missed Steve & Kara and their kids who weren’t here).


I have to add the second picture because the people my in-laws married are just as much my favorite in-laws as the originals:I love them because 1) they are all such unique, different personalities, 2) every one of those different personalities is NICE as part of the package, 3) they are seriously competitive so when they’re around everything is turned into a competition.

It makes for fun times. (Sorry for the not-so-great-pictures but I was too lazy to carry around my big camera much this year.)
This is Grace’s “group.” I wish I had pictures of all the “groups.” My kids adore their cousins.

We all crammed into my Mother-in-Law’s house for the traditional cousin white elephant gift exchange. We do it every year with those who are in town.

Although the kids look like they’re about to die of boredom in this picture, they were hilarious. They were so into all the exchanging going on.And although you can’t tell from this picture either, the adults were even more into it.

I wish I knew how to download a video of all the yelling and commotion of everyone trying to “steal” to get what they wanted. (Traditional white-elephant rules because I know you’ll ask: everyone draws numbers, when it’s your turn you take either a gift from the middle pile or you can steal from someone who has already opened something….but on the third “steal” that particular gift is “retired” and no one can take it away.)Claire ended up with the grand prize as far as I’m concerned.

I won’t go into details about Grace’s picks, I’ll just say she was half laughing/crying when she ended up with her final prize after a bunch of switching around: a dashboard hula girl. We loved having that thing on our dashboard while the stickiness lasted…

Of course, we had a few sleepovers thrown in with all those kids. This is the traditional “flour game” we ALWAYS have to do when the girls have sleepovers with these cousins. (You make a mold of flour from a cup and put a penny on the top. Each player has to cut off a layer from the side of the flour tower until the penny falls. The person who made it fall has to get the penny out of the flour pile with their mouth. Not sure who came up with that one, but man oh man it’s a hit around here.)

One night the adults went to a late showing of Avatar in 3-D at the IMAX. (Pretty amazing special effects if you ask me, but I went with super low expectations…not a huge sci-fi movie fan.)

I have a problem. We didn’t ever end up doing the “nativity” at Christmas with all the hoopla and I could NOT put away the remaining Christmas decor without having my kids dress up for FHE well after Christmas…luckily with a cute cousin in tow.

We had a major New Year’s party together. Even Lucy got to stay up to bring in the new year. Do you think she liked it? (Check out top left picture below.)

Yep, I love those in-laws.

Thanks for making it all so fun, guys.

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  1. I was so excited to read about your New Years Eve party. We always had these at our house too when our children lived home, we still do and our children and their spouses come home but our parties aren't so big now because so many of our friends have moved away. I felt I was right there at your party, I could hear all the excitement and see all the happiness. Thanks for sharing it made me happy to relive ours again. I still love our small parties but the memories of the big ones are great too. I love your family fun.

  2. Hi Shawni, It's your cousin Dianne. Well, I guess I'm technically David's cousin, but I'll claim you as well. What fun I just had looking at your blog. I LOVE THE POTHIERS!!!! Looks like Christmas/New Years was a HUGE hit. Can't help but smile as I look at all the pics. Love to you and all of your family.

  3. I just finished the book you and your mother wrote. SO enjoyed your perspectives, wonderfully shared saving secrets, and the fabulous pictures. Thanks for taking the time to share the things you both have learned, especially the parts that helped me to feel normal (as normal as you can as a busy mother). The parties look like they turned out perfectly! I love big families and they craziness that comes with them.

  4. Such a fun post! It was crazy because I had no idea you were related to Julie and Seth. They are such a great couple and we loved it when they lived in our ward in Rocklin and miss them so! What a small world!!

  5. Hi Shawni,
    Just a hello. I stumbled onto your blog from MMB.
    My hubby was a missionary in London when your dad was the MP.
    My hubby talks often about how wonderful your dad was.
    Enjoyed browsing through your blog.

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