It was pretty much a non-stop party while my brothers and sister and their families were in town for Max’s farewell.  I already talked about our late-night game-nights surrounding the farewell back HERE and the hike HERE, but oh boy, we packed a lot in with those guys and I still have some straggling pictures I have to post about.  
We had so many kids filling up our house (twenty), and I’m pretty sure I became the favorite Aunt since I indulged these two every time they asked for me to fill their mouths up with whipped cream:

(sorry parents…I couldn’t help it!  And sorry Char, you’re gonna have to battle for the favorite aunt spot a little harder because whipped cream does wonders 🙂

It was my niece Elsie’s birthday while she was here.  It was on Max’s big farewell day, so that cutie pie girl decided to wait until the next day to celebrate.

Lucy enjoyed helping her…especially since the celebration included a trip to Hobby Lobby to get crafting supplies:
I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about whipping up some bedazzled initials like that?  (Lu’s is still proudly hanging on her bedroom door.)
My sis-in-law made a pretty delicious birthday cake…I stole the recipe and need to make it again.

Sure love this family.

And sure love all the January birthdays we’ve celebrated around here!

The big girls did a treasure hunt around the neighborhood for the little girls…

It was so fun to have this little guy around.
Oh man I miss toddlers.

I took these bestie cousins out for lunch one day…(we stole Grace away from school for a little bit).

My brother Jonah and his family stayed a little extra after Noah and Saren and their families left.

They are en route back home from living abroad for almost the last year and it was so great to be able to really catch up and be with them.  They are both serious “fixers” (for lack of a more sophisticated word).  Can you imagine better houseguests than those who bring their kids for your kids to bond with as well as staying busy as can be fixing everything they can find that needs help?

They installed a kitchen light I’ve been trying to figure out for a year and a half:

Fixed a broken vacuum:

Fixed a broken mailbox:

Aja helped me go through and organize {the first part} of my mess of an email inbox, and her daughter, bless her heart, decided one day to organize Grace and Claire’s disaster drawers and closet:

Honestly, I don’t think in all the world you could get better houseguests.

They stayed with my brother Josh for a few days after they stayed here and helped him with some big house projects over there.


We are grateful.

Our friend came over for haircuts the day before they left and Ana decided to go for it and get her ultra-curly hair straightened.  SO fun to see how excited she was about that.

Love these cousins.

Just feeling so grateful for family.  Love them so.

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  1. Oops! I'm so sorry Shawni. I had no idea that my comment would show up three times? :/ It makes it look like I'm desperate, but I'm not. I guess I'm just a bit unfamiliar with posting. Oh man. 🙂

  2. Aloha Shawni,!

    We also LOVE having a family "Mr. Fix It" too…each visit from my Dad 🙂

    Also, I've been wanting to do a photography project for many years now and I finally got up the courage to do it this year. Scary/Exciting! I'd love to tell you more about it via email (couldn't find one for you on here.) I'll be in AZ next weekend 19-21st and would love to have you and your girls be part of the project. Please contact me nielsenbatesgmailcom
    btw we have a few mutual friends if you wanted to check up on me. hahaha! but really, Allison N., Tara L., Vanessa Q.,…and do you remember Callie Linder?
    Thanks, Talk soon!

  3. Wow, Grace & Ana look like twins!

    Also, the little blond girl (I can't remember her name) is the image of Claire.

    Do they keep in touch with each other via skype etc?

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