How to help your children dream of attending Stanford some day:

1) Talk about it a lot. Like, all the time. Never let it worry you if they start rolling their eyes. They’ll come around. I’m just sure of it.

2) Tell them how awesome their cousin is who graduated from there.

3) Work in a visit to see the campus during your trip to San Francisco.

4) When your son begs to buy a Stanford hat, hem and haw a little over it. Make him want it worse by questioning it. “Hmmm, it’s kinda expensive…did you bring enough money?…etc.”

5) Walk through campus. Make the kids sit through half of a really cool ceremony that happens to be going in in the cathedral.

6) Let them pose for as many pictures as they want on the campus. (Later enlarge them to life-size and hang them on their ceiling so they can drift off to dreamland thinking about that school every night).
7) Make sure you plan your trip when the leaves are the most beautiful to create a great backdrop.

8) Let them take as many pictures as they want becoming “one” with those things.
(Have I mentioned we like leaves?:)

(a little late on the “throw,” Claire)

9) As you walk the campus, have your awesome sister fill their minds with all kinds of wonderful facts about how important college is. They’ll really listen to her…no eye-rolling.
10) Have them take a picture of their awesome college-graduate mentors:
11) Let them ooooo and ahhh over the cool sculptures there…and take pictures posing with them if they ask.
12) Tell them how fun college life is. Relive a couple good college stories and have your sister do the same.

13) Sit in front of the library and talk about how awesome libraries are. (Yeah, that’ll get ’em:)

14) Cross your fingers that maybe they’ll get rid of that pesky test they base college admissions so darn heavily on.

15) Tell them they can have ice cream every night if they are getting straight “A’s.” (ha ha)

I’m all about brainwashing my kids to go to a good college, and hey, Stanford wouldn’t be half bad.:)
Our last evening in San Francisco was filled with vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.
I love Max’s face when he’s teasing his sisters.

Just as the sun dipped below the horizon we scrambled up a deserted army barracks hill to watch the city settle itself into evening.The sunset on a grand adventure.

We got up before the crack of dawn the next morning to fly back to the desert.And came back to open arms from sweet Lu who we all missed so much.

In fact, one of my favorite memories of the trip was listening to the kids talk to Lucy on the phone while we were crammed in the car on our way somewhere. The delight in their voices to talk to that little sister of theirs was tangible.…And of course we were so excited to get back to Dave who made it all possible. How grateful I am to him for sticking around with Lu and letting us go.

Oh but how we miss our dear Charity! Thank goodness she has a blog so we can keep track of all her amazing adventures! Click here to enjoy it along with us.

Similar Posts


  1. Gorgeous pics! You make ME want to go to Stanford – at least for a little visit 🙂 The pic of Charity in the crane pose is amazing. Love it all. Keep encouraging those kiddos to get to college.

  2. Beautiful pictures! My dad went to business school at Stanford and we used to always visit the campus so my parents could reminisce. My sister lives in San Francisco and you're making me want to drop everything and fly over there!

  3. Ha Shawni! We do the same with BYU. We load them up on candy at the bookstore and assure them that this is where they will find all happiness 🙂

  4. I love love loved all of your photos! This is a kind of random question too, but I am curious as to what you and Dave believe about helping kids pay for college?
    Do you think it will be something you will provide total funding for or partial? How did your family work this growing up? The costs of college are so high and this is something always on my mind with kids. Thanks!

  5. Wow! Your last couple posts make me homesick! As I told you, I grew up in Los Altos Hills, literally right next door to Stanford! Isn't it such a beautiful place? Oh I miss it! I am so glad you were able to enjoy your few days there. I am headed home next month, can't wait!

  6. The leaves are so much fun and make for beautiful pictures. I have done something similar with BYU. We want all our children to attend. Now we will have one attending BYU-I next fall. We feel like it was worth all the trips, talks and rooting for their teams. One down, 3 to go!

  7. Incredible pictures! I love them all! I don't WANT my girls to go to Stanford (although my brother had a great experience there). I want them to go to BYU. Stanford is a great grad school option, though. 😉

  8. This made me homesick for Stanford. Our son had a full ride football scholarship and we were fortunate enough to be able to attend all his games. Our son had the choice of many schools in Utah as well as Washingtion. He said it was one of the best decisions he made. He graduated with a degree in Public Policy and is now in the NFL.

  9. We love Stanford!! Chris did his Ph.D there, so we had the good fortune of living right there on campus for 5 years! I never tire of seeing pictures of there — a campus we walked and biked hundreds of times!! Lovely pictures! Thanks!!

  10. I love the kids expressions at seeing Lucy.

    Oh and you probably should just make a habit of listing all your clothing at the bottom of the post in a "Where to Buy" cause I am sooooo loving those boots and would love to buy a pair for me if you tell me where.

  11. Heck, you make ME want to go to Sanford too! GORGEOUS pictures! I love the way your pictures are so bright. For some reason, I have the desire to start dressing my children in brighter clothing, or at least brighter accessories . . .

  12. Well, you've succeeded in making me want to go to Stanford. I need to at least visit that beautiful place on my next trip to SF.

  13. I'm not sure how I came across your blog this afternoon but I LOVE this post! We are already doing this with out children – we made them write it down on their NY resolution even under "future goals." (Secretly, I would be happy with most major colleges – but why not aim for Stanford?!)

  14. Is it possible to somehow buy a duplicate of the picture collage of Israel that you have in your home? It seems like it may have been a gift. I went there on a study abroad as well and would LOVE to have something like that. Thanks!

  15. Lori, my brother made that collage for me. His blog is on my sidebar ("Eli and Julie") You can contact him if you're interested in those Jerusalem pictures.

Leave a Reply

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