The most important thing that happened in March was that Max arrived in Taiwan right in the very tail end of the month:
(Lots more about that back HERE….his excitement was electric to get over there. )
He sent us a package before he left the MTC.
You can tell my these girls’ faces just how excited they were about that little fact.  

Not sure what they were hoping to find in there, but their excitement faded when we pulled out two gigantic pairs of size 15 shoes (shoes Max decided he didn’t want to take after all).  Luckily there were some little gems mixed in like this name tag:

And also his MTC planner which is kinda precious to me I have to say.
Oh, and he also sent us this book of my parents that is translated into Chinese:

Still not quite sure what the story is about that one, I keep forgetting to ask him.
Man, I’m so excited that boy is exactly where he is, there’s no where I’d rather have him be.  But boy my heart is hurting a little bit more lately with missing him.  Sometimes I just wish I could give him a big hug.  Cannot wait for Mother’s Day when we’ll get to skype with him.
March was the month of blossoms popping out all over the place.

I cannot get enough of soaking in that gorgeous-ness.

I can’t remember why I was in the school this day, but here’s Claire and her friend:

Oh, I remember, they were going on a field trip to the Renaissance Festival.  Oh boy were they ever excited with their little self-made fanny packs:)

Elle got some last minute snowboarding in in March.

Maybe I already wrote about this little fact in February, but it happened in March too.

That girl couldn’t get enough of the great snow this year.
It was “hat day” at the elementary school and Lucy had a very serious plan to wear her cowboy hat Grace gave her after she received it for a White Elephant gift back at Christmas time:

She took wearing that thing very seriously, even when we tried to gently explain it was a wee bit too small for her.  Never fear, she made sure it stayed on all. day. long.  From morning until night, while setting the table, while reading a book, yep, she had that thing glued on.

Speaking of special days at school, “mis-match day” is always a pretty huge hit for these girls:

My friends and I utilized March to hike and soak in the desert.

April is turning out to be a great spring hiking month as well.

For more pretty desert pics. click HERE.

We  sat with this view for many hours in March:

We cannot get enough of watching this girl play.  
It seems weird not to be jumping back and forth from tennis to volleyball this season.  
Soaking in the last drops of high school tennis with all our might.
We got a new nephew.

We are so excited about that brand new little babe.

Lucy was pretty funny when we told her we were going to go visit.

She told us she did NOT want to go, on no uncertain terms.

On the way to the hospital we asked her if she wanted us to have another baby in our family and she was NOT having that.  She was downright mad we’d even suggest such a thing.

But during our visit to the hospital she warmed up to that little sweetie pie little by little.

I mean, who wouldn’t?

Those little noises, those precious toes, that sweet new-baby-smell…oh boy.
All the hoopla surrounding the “bubble run” came and went.

(more about that back HERE.)

…and the miracle of all miracles that Max’s future mission president and his wife visited out ward:

(more back HERE.)

Grace sweet-talks me into a lot of things.  One of which in May was taking this group of lovely ladies to lunch:

(along with our cute little neighbor I was taking care of that day)

Not sure why the faces in this pic:

Claire’s photography experimentation:

Friends for Lu:

Friends for me and Dave:

(Those are siblings, cousins and in-laws…oh man we are so lucky to be related to them!)

Our neighborhood sometimes takes my breath away.

I wish pictures could do it justice.

Heaven knows I keep trying! šŸ™‚

Claire adores her new ballet class:

I loved reading all the comments that came in about parenting in this post back HERE.

This one was especially significant to me since I’m trying so hard to listen better:

We had a self-defense class here for young women.

These police officers came and taught the girls hot to really defend themselves.

At first it scared Claire to death because they were talking about kidnapping and some bad things that have happened in the past, but boy she came out of it smiling because they taught her to really punch.

We also had a “human foozball” youth activity this month.  I know I took pictures of it actually happening, it was pretty fun, but I can’t find them right now.

When I do, I’ll come back and stick them in here.
One of my cute Young Women from our old ward got married.  
That makes me feel old.  
Especially since I think she’s the third.  
But man oh man I’m so happy for that sweet girl and her new husband!

It was such a fun chance to catch up with these dear friends from our old ward:

Love them so!

Then it was on to spring break:
We headed to Utah to ski, and this girl did it!!
(More about that back HERE.)
Oh and those wires holding the art up back behind Lucy is from IKEA for whoever asked in that post, I forgot to answer that…
Elle and I took off on a little “date” after skiing to visit San Diego State University for the open house they were having there:

I have a whole slew of things to say about when I can get to it…

I learned a lot on this conference call about scholarships and managing college finances…

…before Elle got declined… dang it!

That wasn’t her top choice so she wasn’t too broken up about it, but we are both so glad she applied.

Claire’s been putting on a show for us each week on the soccer field:

Her gym coach came to watch one night.

He coaches all those girls up there.

Fun times.

My girls are adoring this “face swap” app and they have come up with some pretty funny ones.  

Here are Grace and Lucy with swapped faces:

Crazy right?

Sunsets in the desert are the best:

Grace and her friend are pretty cute:

Claire has been working her little guts out at gymnastics.

She’s been having a little mind block lately with that which has been a struggle but she’s feeling so much better these days.
We went through a lot of trial prom dresses:

Elle went on her “day date” with Cam:

…and doubled with these folks:

They went paint balling.

(more all about prom over HERE.)

The “season” for opening mission calls is upon us again.  Remember when Max’s friends were all getting their calls last year?  (back HERE)

Well, it’s happening all over again, stage number two with all Elle’s guy friends.

(That one up there is going to Sierra Leone.)

One night we went to Costco for FHE.  
That’s my favorite kind of FHE.  I get helpers and we get dinner taken care of all in one swoop.
This is the picture we sent Elle when she asked if we were serious when she told us to meet her there:
She got there just in time to join us for dinner.

Claire and I worked our tails off cutting into this styrofoam ball for Claire to make into a cell:

Oh my word, I think we got the wrong kind of styrofoam cause I was sweating when we were done.

But it all paid off because check out what this girl came up with:

Yep, that’s my girl.

Lucy had “activity days” walking around the temple.

Love that sweet group of girls.

Right about now I could post ten billion pictures of Elle and all the fun she’s been having with friends.

She is living up this senior thing I’ll tell you what.

But I’ll save that for another post, because this one is already waaaaayyy too long.

Claire got reunited with some old friends we love at one of Elle’s tennis matches:

I love the notes I find on my phone Lucy writes to people.  I think I’d call her an “expert” on the use of emoticons:

We painted Easter eggs (HERE),

…went to the Easter pageant…

…had a great Easter (complete with my parents in town HERE)

Elle got asked to another prom at another school:

Spoke in church:

…and got a special blessing that we all loved.

My sister-in-law came to town and came to watch one of Elle’s matches:

…among a lot of other things and I can’t seem to find those pictures…

My friend put together a “missionary mom lunch” for all of us moms of Max’s best friends who are out all over the world.

It was so fun to hang out with them and get caught up on all our boys.

These girls got some GOOD grades:

So proud of them.

Grace, after saving up and working her tail off to earn enough money, got to go to the Justin Bieber concert at the end of the month.

Boy oh boy were these girls ever excited about that chance of a lifetime.

Our piano teacher’s father passed away.

So grateful we could go support him at the graveside service.  He’s such a great man and has filled so many of my friend’s houses with music over the years.

Ok, that’s a wrap.  Time is just a-ticking away as fast as it can go and already we are coming up on the last month of Elle living at home.

Boo hoo!

Gotta go soak her up some more.

I think she’s gonna be so dang sick of us “soaking her up” that she’ll get super excited about graduation…but not quite yet.

Similar Posts


  1. WOW. I do know your life is not perfect…really I do…but your blog posts just make me say "oh my." It all seems just amazing! Trying not to be envious but it's really hard not to be!

  2. I see my comment about financial aid was deleted. Thanks, Shawni. Deleting is not a "hard" thing. Responding is.

    1. Oh my dear Unknown,

      I love you and how you do such a great job of keeping it real over here in this little corner of the Internet:) I have sure learned a lot from you over the years! I am replacing my long-winded comment with just this little side-note: asking or commenting kindly here can be so constructive. We all have so much to learn from each other!

      The purpose for the B.U. conference call for me was simply to be more educated on scholarships and managing college finances. I called it a "financial aid" call simply because they went over that as well (there were hundreds of people logged in). Sorry if that came off wrong, I was writing fast. Don't be mad at me šŸ™‚

  3. Shawni,
    I LOVE reading you and your families blogs. You are all inspiring. I appreciate your wonderful outlook on motherhood. I am a few years behind you (kids are 10, 8, 6, 4) but I get anxiety and excitement seeing what I have to look forward to.
    You go ahead and apply for financial aid, scholarships, whatever you wish. I appreciate you sticking up for yourself. While we are always encouraged to turn the other cheek and love those who hurt us. I also think a gentle but firm hand for boundaries is needed. Please keep encouraging and inspiring us mothers as we are in this together.

  4. Shawni,
    I LOVE reading you and your families blogs. You are all inspiring. I appreciate your wonderful outlook on motherhood. I am a few years behind you (kids are 10, 8, 6, 4) but I get anxiety and excitement seeing what I have to look forward to.
    You go ahead and apply for financial aid, scholarships, whatever you wish. I appreciate you sticking up for yourself. While we are always encouraged to turn the other cheek and love those who hurt us. I also think a gentle but firm hand for boundaries is needed. Please keep encouraging and inspiring us mothers as we are in this together.

  5. Elle sure does know how to rock jeans and a t-shirt! I love her perfectly side tucked look on the "day date." Are you saving up her college blog post? She seems like a Southern CA beach girl type to me. UCSD? UCSB? (I'm not sure how out of state applications work in the UC system to maybe not) Claremont or Pepperdine? Hard to believe that some young people are lucky enough to go to school in Malibu; what a dreamy place!

  6. Please use the delete button as much as possible. No one needs to read the nasty comments. They're so tiresome, and your blog is a place to go to get a positive motherhood message…. Until I read the comments. They're just trolls. Delete delete delete…block block block. That's the only way to get rid of a troll.

  7. This is to all readers here regardless of finances.
    If you have not heard of the Western Undergraduate Exchange, please look into it. There are colleges all over the western states that are in this exchange program. My daughter is a sophomore in HS, so I don't know all the rules. However, I was told that you request to be in the program when you apply to the college. If the college is out-of-state from you but within the program, then you will pay 1.5% of the in-state tuition. It is locked in for 4 years. My vet's daughter is in the program and she loves Northern Arizona State.

    In addition, at some private colleges there are merit or private scholarships that only that college gives out and is based on GPA. Usually you will be notified as to the amount around the time that you are admitted to the college.

    There are partial athletic scholarships given out in D1 and D2 school.

    However, most financial help from colleges, the gov't, or the private sector is based on the families income. And yes, you have to submit a ton of paperwork on-time to receive this aid.

    Big colleges and companies will have online courses to help parents understand where they fit in. Bravo to you Shawni for listening. This might be a future post with some good information. Let's work together to help each other.

  8. Just had to say how much fun my children have when they read about fsnny packs. As I'm sure you are aware, the word fanny means something different to us
    When we had the missionary sisters over four dinner. My daughter was wearing jeans with embroidery on the back. This sweet young girl said to my daughter, come over here and show me your fanny. I'm afraid we were very childish and laughed a lot but at least she knew what not to day four the rest off her mission.
    I love the catch up posts, your life does look fun but I hope most of us realise that these are highlights and not day to day chores and school and kid's arguing
    Jo x
    For some reason i am logged into my husbands account and it won't let me change it
    PS Really looking forward to finding out what college Elle is going to.

  9. Hi Shawni, Thanks for all time you put into sharing your family and ideas with us.
    Glad Max is doing well on his mission, and there have been lots of tender mercies.

    This is separate question. We are looking for a round table for our kitchen in white.
    You have one! Do you mind sharing where you got your white, circle table?

    I also love your family history b/w photo display, I would love some more info. or pictures on how you put that together.

    Thanks again

    1. Yes, please tell us about your awesome white table, Shawni. I am in the same boat as Katie and I love love love yours! Thanks for being super, because you are, ya know!

Leave a Reply

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