School went ahead and wrapped up in the desert nice and early (May 19th).  I’m mad about how early it gets out because that means we start way too early (August 3rd…ouch!) but that’s a post for another day.  
Today I’m just talking about those last few days because boy was there ever a bunch of hoopla surrounding “the end.”
During the last few days this is what happened:
Yearbooks got passed out.

Notes and gifts were bought and written for teachers.

The traditional end-of-the-year “paper drop” went down at the high school:

…and all those kids up there are putting on smiles to cover up that most of their hearts were breaking that it was all over.  Some were ready, most were anxiously excited for what lies ahead, but even with the excitement, they were so dang sad to split up and spread out over the world.  (And they really are spreading out everywhere with so many mission calls that will be taking them all over creation).

That assessment is only from my incessant interviews with them as they trailed in and out of our house and is not based on any real facts.:)

I got invited (by my 6th grader) to come to the traditional 6th grade barbecue at the school.

My sweet friend brought Claire an awesome graduation gift.  She brought one for Elle too but this one was extra special to Claire in the midst of all Elle’s stuff.

Lucy wanted to be sure we made our traditional last-day-of-school “rainbow pancakes” (here) the day before the last day since she and Claire were both invited to friend breakfasts the last day.  I think those pancakes started as a first day of school thing and morphed into a last day thing too…or maybe it was the other way around…but Lucy somehow figured we needed that tradition both days.

She’s a girl after my own heart in the tradition category.

Real-deal last day.

Lucy’s friend started a donut-last-day-breakfast tradition last year.

…which makes Lucy pretty delighted.

Claire’s friend started doing the same kind of tradition a couple years back.

Grace’s friends didn’t do a breakfast but one of her friends was waiting with a drink to get her through the day when I dropped her off for school so I’m pretty sure that counts as a breakfast too.
The seniors didn’t have school on the last day since they had finished finals the day before and just had an early-morning graduation practice.
When they were done a few came over to whip up a big breakfast at our house.  And those boys up there were laughing because Elle was so bugged her picture was still up from her graduation party.

There we go, here they are after that darn picture was taken down.  You happy about that Elle” ? 🙂

I got to go to Lucy’s last-day party for a little bit with her darling teacher we adore.

Lucy’s friend put on a neighborhood giant slip-and-slide after school.

Have I mentioned Lucy’s friends make me tear up sometimes?  They are just so nice to her and it makes my heart swell so much, especially lately.

I didn’t spend much time over there with the Lucy group because Grace invited a whole slew of kids over to our house to swim.

Wish I had a picture of all of them playing volleyball and eating and swimming because that girl knows how to throw a party.

Lucy came home after her party and had a friend over to keep on partying with…

My friend sent me that above picture at her house after school…Claire’s is the yellow one.  Man alive there are a lot of kids around here I tell you!

Two different groups of graduating girls…Lucy looks super excited to be the class of 2025 don’t you think?

By mid afternoon we were turning all our attention to graduation.  More on that tomorrow, but for now, here was our “team” to save seats in the bleachers for the big ceremony there that night.

We were laughing so hard as we worked our tails off to save enough rows for our families (and friends families too).

Because you gotta have a good seat to watch your child graduate from high school, right?

To be continued…

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  1. When my sister and I graduated there were two tickets per family. If it were outside you could bring more but there were only seats for the graduates and some additional seating for people who could not stand for a long time like the elderly and disabled. Everyone else stood. Inside only two could enter and no saving. It's nice the entire famliy can attend no matter where the seats are. I missed my sister's since it was inside.

    1. Yes the families with divorces and step parents were the hardest hit by the restriction. In my sister's case my father gave his ticket to my grandmother so she and my mother attended. She got us to and from school for years when we were young, dad didn't think it right for her to miss a graduation, though my sister would have rather had mom and dad there. Unnecessary choices. They should have had it at a venue that would allow parents and siblings to attend. Immediate families/grandparents want to see graduations and weddings. Fortunately for us she also graduated from college and we were able to attend that. How awful it would have been if we missed her only graduation.

  2. Looks like some SAHMs with school aged children sure do have a lot of extra time ontheir hands. Creating homemade neighborhood slip and slide parties? Multiple last day of school breakfasts in the same neighborhood? Pancakes in 6 different colors? Saving dozens of seats at graduation so people with jobs don't have a spot? I'd love to have the time you do for some of the things you do like daily fitness classes, lunching with friends in the middle of the week, writing a blog but this other stuff? The kids would just as happy and healthy running around the backyard etc Seems like busy work for women who like to look up stuff on Pinterest. Does "so blessed" = "so bored?"

    1. I said much the same thing, especially about saving the seats (so unfair!)- but someone deleted my comment…. (?)

      I doubt there are many families around there where BOTH parents have jobs outside the home. So hopefully no one had to miss their kid's graduation due to overzealous SAHMs hogging all the seats.

    2. For those bashing SAHM'S,why?.. why put others down to make yourselves feel better?
      I am a stay at home mom, with kids all in school full time, and 2 weeks ago I spent a huge part of my day in the classroom.. not because my kid was doing a show n share for 3 hrs straight but because I chose to sit there and watch someone else kid do theirs, because I wanted those children not to feel bad AND hoping to relieve a little stress from mom's who couldn't be there and was heartbroken that they couldn't be. So before you start bashing.. maybe think of all the things they do for the community they live in and maybe, just maybe do things for your child too.

  3. I love reading your blog and I also like all the hoopla that goes on. I grew up in Gilbert in the 80's and we had all the parties and such, and my mom did work outside the home. She was very organized and loved throwing parties and having people over. We celebrated everything (holidays, birthdays, graduations, and a whole lot more) to the max! I never understand "Negative Nellies" and I think most comments that are made in that direction are from envious people. If you are happy yourself, no matter what stage of life you are in, then you will be happy for others. Oh, and saving seats is perfectly fine and not unfair at all. If the school does not allow it then leave it to them to make the rules!

    1. Course they are happy, they were entitled to the choice seats and have the job flexibility to take time off to do vacations and special events and mark their territory. Some are just grateful to be present and can't understand the desire to micromanage even the seating. They saw their children on "stage" 6 other times that month after all. 7 special days out of 30. Doesn't it lose specialness being that frequent? Doesn't it exclude a few graduates and families who just can't do all that and how do they really feel?

    2. CMCMC – there doesn't have to be a "written rule" by the school for a person to know when something is not the right thing to do.

      So as long as there is no formal rule against it, do it anyway even if it's not fair?

    3. For those bashing SAHM'S,why?.. why put others down to make yourselves feel better?
      I am a stay at home mom, with kids all in school full time, and 2 weeks ago I spent a huge part of my day in the classroom.. not because my kid was doing a show n share for 3 hrs straight but because I chose to sit there and watch someone else kid do theirs, because I wanted those children not to feel bad AND hoping to relieve a little stress from mom's who couldn't be there and was heartbroken that they couldn't be. So before you start bashing.. maybe think of all the things they do for the community they live in and maybe, just maybe do things for your child too.

    4. not bashing SAHM's many contributions to our communities and schools. I'd love to have more time to tutor, volunteer at nursing homes, babysit my nephews, fund raise for worthy causes I hold dear etc. What I'm feeling incredulous about is the time/desire to host these elaborate kid events and especially egregious and oh so entitled is to smugly hoard seats at events as if your family is more deserving of that spot than anyone else.

    5. Why not host 3 or 53.. it doesn't matter to you, or me. I don't live in an area that does that, nor could I afford to but I can think.. oh that's fun and great memories for them. Don't let details that you read on a blog make you presume you know how that all went down. We only see a spec of the happy times.

    6. Oh goodness gracious, I sure hit a chord here! I totally get the comments that are mad that we saved seats. Maybe it will make you feel better to know that we were able to fit in so many people who needed space, families we didn't know who came late and were able to squish in all together and become friends as you'll see in the squishy bleacher pictures in the next post. Maybe you won't feel better knowing that, but thank heavens you can rest easy knowing that you don't have to be the judge.

      As for this whole conversation, please remember that what dresselfamily said is oh so true. Things you see on a blog don't and can't represent the whole story. A few pictures from some crazy last days of school cannot tell you what goes through these mother's minds, and cannot let you in to the secret sorrows they (we) carry. What is in people's hearts and what makes them tick (yes, some people get energy from throwing parties and that's ok!) can only be known by getting to know them. And sometimes even when we know someone extremely well I bet there is deeper goodness in them we may never ever see.

  4. A random question–are your floors the Provenza Old World in Fossil Stone? I am considering those for our home we are building and have to decide in the next day or two. I'd love to know how you like them and if they do well with spills and kid wear and tear. Thanks!!


  5. I think it's weird when people get so upset about stuff they see on blogs. As for the parties – maybe it was a group thing or a potluck or organized by a mom working full time outside of the home. Don't necessarily assume it is a stay at home with nothing but free time on her hands. My mom worked full time as a teacher when I grew up and we had tons of activities and fun that she managed to throw by herself, with her friends, with her spouse and with her kids – each time was different. Furthermore, when I worked full time I went to fitness classes myself a few times each week before work and went out to lunch once a week or so with my co-workers who were dear friends. I'm not sure what your job is and no doubt you are busy, but don't drag down others for your lack of perceived time/money/status/whatever it may be. Lastly, maybe it is rude to save all those seats. However, we don't know if they were for just her and her family. People who had the opportunity to do so saved seats for my mom when she was working and couldn't get to an event early. The graduation appears to take place in a stadium. I'm sure there are plenty of seats to go around.

  6. Such a lovely post tarnished by a few haters. If you don't like it, don't read. Shawni doesn't seem the type of girl to take anything from anyone. I'm sure she gladly saved seats for moms who couldn't be there. Worry about your own life instead of condemning someone for theirs. This looks like an awesome neighborhood. What a lucky group of kiddos.

  7. Celebrate the heck out of those moments before your babies are all gone. In a crazy world, it's a beautiful thing to have so much to celebrate. It's a mark of true appreciation for all of God's blessings in our lives.

  8. I agree with Jill up there. What a fun way for your kids to grow up! I love how they have so many friends and so many fun things they do together.

  9. Thank you, Shawni, for sharing your beautiful family and life with all of us. I'm not Mormon (not even religious) but your blog is like a sort of bible for motherhood for me. I LOVE seeing your kids with their friends and am constantly inspired by the intentional way you parent and live your life. You're never going to please everyone, and many will not be able to relate to you and your life, but PLEASE don't ever stop sharing because of that. I can't relate to everything you post but I cannot even begin to tell you how much you inspire and guide me as a mother to small children. I'm looking at our beautiful summer bucket list poster as I type this and just want to say thank you for all that you do, for all that you share and for how you've shaped some wonderful traditions in our young family's life because of it.

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