Ok sun is about to set on this school year (I seriously cannot believe it!), so we’re going to speed through March and April.

Good times here in the spring.

I have loved being the only art masterpiece volunteer for Lucy’s class this year.  I love having a partner as well (every other year), but there’s something kind of nice about having these kids all to myself.

In March we did “story quilts” to mimic Faith Ringgold’s art.

The kids drew a favorite scene from their life, and decorated the edges with patchwork papers to make their own story quilts.

As always, I was pretty impressed with their artistic talent!

Grace had her Cheer banquet to finish out her cheering career and this is all I got from that:

Kinda dumb that they didn’t invite the parents…in my opinion, but she was pretty happy about the whole dealio.

We went on a little date to this:

Because she wanted to be on student council next year…that’s still pending…more on that soon.

Meanwhile these are pics. I took screenshots of from Elle and friends over in Hawaii:

This is when they were all staying with my brother in Maui on their break between trimesters:

It’s really too bad they don’t have any fun over there…

The neighborhood still loves Bo, and she loves the attention.

My friend from China moves to Boston.  But she came back for a visit and we got to go to lunch:
We love her:

Flowers from Trader Joe’s that I had to try to capture with my iPhone one night:

We went to see Brian Regan with some friends:

…and Claire ran up a storm in soccer.

I love her coach and how much respect she has for him.

These have been pretty awesome teammates, and this girl loves soccer so much she has talked us into trying out for club again next year.
We had kind of a end-of-season party one night, and this picture is from that:

But we’re still playing…two games this weekend, so we’re not really done.

Dave and I took Lu to Marshfield for a bunch of appointments.

Lots more about that trip and how much we love that place back HERE.

So grateful for the good people there who took such great care of Lucy.

We are trying to figure out how to help Lucy progress in her art.  She loves it so much.  I’m trying to figure out why she does some of the things she does.  Like why does she do this grid on everything?

Does it help her see better?  Is it the organization of it all that speaks to her?  I’d love to crawl into her brain to figure out how things tick sometimes.

We got these pictures from my friend who was in Hawaii with her family.

Elle and her oldest are friends and Elle took their family pictures on the beach while they were there.

So fun to see those pics. pop up on my phone.

We did a youth activity of 007 or capture the flag, but this is all I got to document it:

I wish I had a picture of the way the warm night felt and the conversations with my friends and the girls and the other leaders.  So many good youth and parents in this area, I feel so lucky to be able to learn from them all.
Bo grew.

And made more messes.

More about how we’re adjusting to life with a dog back HERE, but here’s a little shot of Claire’s brand new shoes she got a hold of:

Nice, right?

I told Claire to keep on wearing them and just let that little nibble be a badge of honor that she gets to have a dog.  So she does.  And she smiles about it.

Gorgeous sunsets in March:

In March Max was quite amazed by this 85-year-old ping pong player who could whip his booty in that sport:

Not sure the background on this pic, but I love that gigantic smile:

Our neighborhood kept getting more green:

I know I post a lot of pictures of this street, but I can’t help it I love it so much!  Just know there are probably 249 more where they came from so at least I narrowed them down ๐Ÿ™‚

Claire and I went to a bridal shower of one of Elle’s friends (!!), and ran into the nurse who helped deliver her.  Love this woman so much!

More girls turned 14 and moved up to our class in church.  I’m so glad I have little buddies to help me do these heart-attacks for them!

Elle in her bright orange shorts:

Right before spring break Bo had her last training session (above).  We took her to a public place so she could show what she’s learned even if distracted.  She did great, and graduated, but as I mentioned before, that’s just the beginning.  
She is getting so much more obedient though and I love it!
Then real Spring Break began.
And these girls were ready to bring it on with full enthusiasm.

I’m pretty sure that water was freezing, but they didn’t let that hold them back!

One of those girls brought over her dog for Bo to hang with.

We were leaving her with our trainer while we left for Spring Break, and since he has lots of dogs, we figured she better acclimate to having another dog around.

She didn’t like her much…

Claire and friends kicked off Saturday with a color run, and wow, the excitement getting ready for that was pretty electric I have to say!

They figured out how to print out those “color run” circles on the computer, and then they stapled or glued them to their shirts.

Loved that innovation.

We got up early that Saturday and cleaned the church, which Lu was quite proud of:

And then we got to the serious business of doing some Spring Cleaning before heading out for Spring Break.

We cleaned out cupboards and drawers, and took pictures of the good stuff we weren’t filing away in their file boxes (back HERE).

And we also switched around bedrooms (back HERE).

Oh boy, we bit off a little more than we could chew I tell you, we worked hard that weekend!

Then, to relax, these girls stayed up and did face masks:

(home-made with avocados…they are impressively creative)

And other beauty techniques:

That first Sunday of spring break when we were outside, Bo slipped and fell in the pool.
After our initial shock and freak-out (because she doesn’t really know how to swim yet…) and once we realized she was just fine, we busted up laughing our heads off at that little thing.

She looks SO funny all wet!  We figured it was time for a bath anyway:

Love that these girls are so willing to help with this puppy of theirs.

Then, we dropped off that pup with her care-taker, and took off on our big Hawaiian adventure.

We were SO excited, and had been talking non-stop about this trip, so it was pretty amazing to get there and hug up our college girl:

…and her land.

And her “secret hikes,” even this one that ended up being pitch dark by the time we emerged, wet and muddy and all smiles.

(It was prob. the favorite moment for all of us, much more about that over on the Oahu post back HERE.)

These pics are from Dave’s phone so I added them late to the Hawaii post, so here’s the trampoline:

The Maui post is back HERE (we went to visit my brother’s family over there).
And here’s one of the hilarious pics we got from Bo while we were gone:

Ha!  I think she was scared to death of the other dogs the whole time we were gone.

The girls were SO excited to go pick her up the morning we got back.

She was like a totally different dog for a little bit, but she warmed up again pretty quick.

Lucy and I made a trip to check on her spine when we got back, since she had been diagnosed with scoliosis while we were in Marshfield.

Here’s the x-ray we brought along.

Yeah, that’s not the greatest looking spine, dang it.

This is what the doctor wants us to have her wear:

…which I am sick to my stomach about.

Lucy has some sensory issues.  She won’t wear particular shirts if they are too “fill-in-the-blank.”  I’m still at a complete loss as to what in the world we’re going to do about that.  Thank you to those who have sent me advice, I SO appreciate it!

Lucy’s perspective art:

Elle’s art:

Pretty excited heading off to MFME:

(Those two had a layover here in the desert so we could all fly together to the farm.)

All about this journey over HERE and HERE.

Here Elle and I are, trying to help her clean with bleach over FaceTime (their toilet flooded), right after she shook it and dripped it on her friend’s t-shirt:

(See that sleeve on the left…shoot)

Lucy loves her puppy:

…and her Hawaii memories:

This awesome lady did a fund raiser to help Families Fighting Blindness:

So kind of her.

Dave’s family was there in full force.

They are the best Lucy supporters and we are so grateful!

Friends too.  Oh man.  That Lu is a lucky girl.

This was the night that our dear friend Brian was in town.  See him there in the middle below?

He and his wife are the ones who took hosted Elle when she lived in London for her Junior-year-internship.

We are so grateful for them, and now practically my whole family knows and loves them through one thing or another.  They have moved from London to NYC and happen to be in the same ward with my brother there.

My favorite memory of this night was later, when we sat at a local yogurt place at an outdoor table in the dark night talking about our families and a lot about Elle and the things they did together over in London.

So grateful for the Crofts and how they helped raise our daughter.  Their blog is HERE if you want to check it out.

Claire went on a little adventure:

But I’m going to have her do a little guest post about it, because it was pretty awesome.

It had to do a lot with my parents, and I thank my lucky stars every single day for them.

Love this letter my dad sent to Lucy for her half birthday:

I have to admit I teared up a little in the car when I read this (Lucy had left it there).

She giggled that he got the actual half-birthday wrong, (it was in April, silly Grandfather), but man alive these kids are so dang lucky to have such great grandparents on each side.

Not sure what prompted this, but I loved it:

This pic. is hard to figure out, but it’s me doing a plank on the back porch, and illustrates how Bo feels she needs to be in the middle of everything all the time.

Dave took full advantage of some skiing opportunities amidst business meetings in Utah:

Lucy is so into reading she feels she cannot put her books down as she walks home from the bus:

We have a lemon tree, and I love it.

Lucy is getting to be such a great piano player!

Love these good people:

Uncle Stuart broke his ankle and they uplift us when we can get over there to visit.

The only pic. we got from Max one week, but I’ll take it with that huge smile!

Lucy is still going strong on her emojis:

Love this pic. of her trying to FaceTime Claire when she was off on her little adventure with my parents:

More spring hiking:

A baby for a few days:

(more back HERE)

Young Women facemask night:

And we wrapped up the month with a Daddy-Daughter date.

More on that back HERE.

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  1. Wonderful photos! Just my 2 cents (again) on your Bo. (Maybe you already did this) I also have a pool…and those can be dangerous things for our furry friends. The BEST thing for doggie/pool safety is to teach her where the steps/exit out are. That way should she fall in with no one around…she can get out without a person having to jump in. (or worse Bo being unable to find the exit) Train her with 2 people on this one. One person stands just outside the pool above the steps (with food rewards) …the other takes Bo out into the pool. The pool person takes her a couple feet from the steps…and other calls to her to have her swim to the steps and out and of the pool. Give her lots of praise and a small piece of her favorite food. Then..the "Pool person" takes her 4 feet out in a different direction. Repeat the process until the pool person can start her from any far away part of the pool…and she knows RIGHT where to go to find the steps/exit. Keep giving her LOTS of praise and her little food reward each time she gets it. Repeat this training a few times..until you are sure she knows right where all the exits are. It is so much safer for your Bo…AND for your children… who won't feel the need to jump in to get her… should she fall in while they are out back with her. Your Bo will swim to the stairs/exit on her own every time!

  2. I have a little girl in my class who wears a brace for scoliosis similar to the one in your picture. She has worn one since she was a toddler (she is 5 1/2 now) – she used to have to wear a body cast, so those kind are so much easier – she can take it off to get a break, or for PE (she gets really hot – Texas). Her Mom usually dresses her in a thin undershirt or tank top – then the brace with another (bigger size) T shirt over the brace.

  3. Would you be excited if Elle decided to get married this year? It seems a norm for LDS outside your family. Is it okay to deviate from the expected? I know they decide their life plan early but you don't know when you will meet your spouse at age 5/8 so is it okay life doesn't match their binders?

    I feel for Lucy, I understand sensory stuff well. Do the best you can and be happy with that. Sometimes we get a long list of what to do to help our kids. The application of that list works fine in a textbook but not in real life. Can she be active while wearing it, if she tolerates it? It's hard to prioritize.

    1. What does "is it okay if life doesn't match their binders" mean? I've never heard of that saying before.

      I also have trouble with the way shirts etc feel on me & always have to cut any labels out, so I can really related to Lucy with these. x

    2. The kids all have binders where they have put their " life plans." She actually had a binder where she planned her life when young.

    3. The binders are goals and plans. Most of the time life doesn't turn out as you expect it to, but it's so great to have a plan to help create direction.

      You're right, it is hard to prioritize what's most important as far as the brace goes. Still trying to figure all that out.

  4. Hello Shawni, I have been following your blog for a number of years, I am all the way Down under in Western Australia! I am a professional artist and I write today as I am totally in love with one of your photos on your March little things blog and would like to seek permission to paint it. It is the one of Elle and her gal pals and the car In Hawaii. It's such a great image. I have two young adult daughters myself and this is exactly what my girls love to do also. Please take a look at my web mymiasart.com to see my work and to see I am for real!! I look forward to hearing from you, best regards, Mia Laing (miasart@iinet.net.au)

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