As anyone who sends me questions is well aware, I’m not a top-notch question-answer-er. And I really do feel bad that I can’t get it together enough to reply on a regular basis. So I’m trying to answer a few questions today (mostly those that have been asked quite a few times).

Here you go:

What is the song playing in the background on that post with the video of the kids dancing and cleaning after dinner? (that post is here in case you missed the video)

That song is by Mindy Gledhill and it’s called Crazy Love…and it’s Elle’s fav.

I would love to know your after dinner assignments. Do they rotate? Do you have certain nights that one wipes the table and the other puts leftovers in the container or do they each always have that job? I need more after dinner help.

We have rotating after-dinner jobs. The assignments are made depending on who has what conflicts that night. The rotations usually shift around a little bit at the beginning of a new sports season. Max, Elle and Grace rotate dishes, sweeping and clearing each night. Claire always sets the table, and Lucy is her assistant. We all unload the dishwasher together if it’s clean. If someone isn’t home right when dinner is ready they have to do the dishes.

At what age do you start giving kids allowances?

At age 8. By then we think kids can understand the concept of saving and tithing and all that jazz. Sure, younger kids can “get” that stuff too, but it’s nice to have something for kids to look forward to, and in my opinion if you give kids money too young it seems to eat holes in their pockets and they feel like they HAVE to spend it. But then again…so do thirteen-year-old boys…

Where do you get your cute tops?

Seriously, I think this is a funny one especially because it comes up quite often, but I’m flattered people ask. I just get them wherever I happen to be…Target, H&M, Ross, occasionally Nordstrom.

How tall are you?

I’m six feet tall. But to be exact I’m actually 5′ 11 and 3/4…saying six feet is much easier. My brother who is in this picture is 6’9″. Yes, sometimes I do worry about our girls being that tall too…

What camera lens did you use in these gym pictures?

I actually only use my 24-70 2.8 lens because I don’t have another one right now. I really hope Santa brings me a telephoto one though…

Where did you get this framed family tree? (The first picture in that post.)

My friend gave me that family tree kit from Deseret Book years ago. I’m sorry to say that I don’t know if they still have them available, but you could google to find out…

If you ever get a chance…I would love for you to share how you capture those sparkler pictures (in this post)…I can’t figure it out after several attempts (although I am still learning my camera).

In order to take those kinds of pictures I’d put the camera on shutter priority. That way you set the shutter speed to be super slow and the camera will take care of the aperture for the lighting. You have to make sure your camera is VERY still (either use a tripod or try setting it on a chair…or on your knee as I did in these pictures ;).

LOVE that picture (the one in this post), do tell how you took it! And how did everyone coordinate their outfits so well?

We told everyone to wear solid colors (no planning before-hand…it just happened to work), pulled our little beach car up to the beach and set the camera on the hood of the car, propped up by a towel so it would be even. Then I pushed the self-timer button and ran like the dickens to stand by my family and smile. We did this about five times before all the kids’ attention spans gave out, but it happened to work. I can’t take credit for the actual posing idea because that was all my talented sister Saydi’s idea. She’s quite the little photographer.

Please share your mouth-watering green smoothie recipe!

Well, I have to tell you that it is far from mouth-watering. My other kids will not touch it with a ten-foot pole, but Lucy for some reason seems to have very non-judgmental taste buds. We just mix like four cups (seriously) of spinach with a little bit of fruit and a handful of carrots and Lucy sucks it down. I’d love to get recipes for “real” green smoothies…meaning ones that the rest of us could choke down as well.

Why do I try to call Dave “David” instead of “Dave?”

Because he prefers “David.” The problem is that is sounds so stuffy and formal to me, and Dave is simply not stuffy and formal. But I’m still trying….(and he really doesn’t care that much).

What kind of paint do you use for your silhouettes (in this post)?

Just those little bottles of craft paint at craft stores…matte black.

I noticed you changed your blog name to “71 Toes” from “Life”…

Well, it was actually always called “71 Toes,” and when I first started the blog I just wrote life in there. Dave (David) being the organized guy he is, reported that having two different names is confusing. So now it’s just “71 Toes.”

Ok, I’ll have to answer more later because I must run…but I’ll end with my own question:

How in the WORLD did it become December already???
Love, Shawni

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  1. has a LOT of delicious recipes. If you google green drinks you can finds tons too.
    My favorite is:
    1/2 bag of spinach (10oz. bag)
    2 c. pineapple juice
    pinch of dried spearmint
    lot of ice
    blend and enjoy

  2. Really now, didn't the year JUST start?! Didn't summer barely end?! How can Christmas be here in 23 days!

    Google blogsearch lead me to you somehow, probably some craft hunt I was on. I'm adoring reading about your family, and in slight awe that you're an Eyre, as I'm working on reading Teaching Your Children Joy, per recommendation of a counselor I saw a few years ago.

    You're an inpsiration, thanks!

  3. love it! I have a 'more FAQ' post sitting in my drafts!

    wow your brother is 6ft 9! my hubby is 6 ft 3 and I'm 5ft so I'm really hoping my kids get their daddy's height!


  4. there are some great green smoothie recipes out there. I love spinach smoothies myself. I use variations of a recipe that has vanilla yogurt or plain with vanilla extract, apple slices, a little orange juice, loads of spinach, a frozen banana, and ice. I've tried the carrots in it but I think that is what kids don't like. For our opening Acitivity Days this year I had a brainstorming party to plan out the year and for the treat I made "brain food" I had them try 3 different healthy veggie/fruit smoothies and then had them guess what veggie I had hidden in them. They actually really liked them and were surprised. As for the family tree I loved it so much and found them about a year ago, maybe less, at You have a beautiful family and love your blog. Thanks for taking the time to share!

  5. Yay! We're the exact same height! I too always just say 6ft, it's easier. I have a recipe for the green smoothie too. I love this one!
    2c fresh Spinach (I always put in a little more)
    1c fresh kale
    1c orange juice
    1/2 banana
    1/4c frozen blueberries
    1/4c frozen raspberries
    lots of ice.

  6. I love Q&A's. I think it's fun knowing more about the peple behind blogs that I love to read. If you have time, I'd love to know some of your favorite go to recipes, for dinner, or snacks!

  7. I love all this personal stuff. You are awesome! I don't even know you but I LOVE reading your life story. You are one amazing gal. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  8. I don't know how I find your site, but have found it gives me a smile to visit. You have a lovely family and when I visit your blog I get inspired to be a better mom and wife, it's like talking to a good friend. Don't want to sound too cheesy, but do feel as if divine intervention led me here. 🙂 Just one question, I'm always curious (husband call this nosy) but what does Dave do that he visits China so often? Good wishes to you and family!

  9. I took your shillouette ( I know that's spelled wrong ) and just inserted the profile pic into a workd doc. The I was able to size it up or down depending on my frame size. Then I printed it out, and cut out the picture. I then traced it onto black paper and cut that out, then glued it on to a back ground and then framed it up. It was a bit more, but it saved me from having to buy paint I'd never use again.

  10. I am nearly 6 feet as well! I always love a tall gal. I have one very important question. What are your favorite jeans? Do you have a problem finding them long enough too???


    from a loyal reader

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