Dearest David,

Here’s a little re-cap about life at home as you traipse around on the other side of the planet:

We had our Primary Program at church. I wish I would have snuck in a video camera so you could see Lucy right in front marching to the songs and acting like she knew all the words as she bobbed her head up and down in confidence. I wish you could have been sitting on the same row with Max, Elle and I with our shoulders bobbing up and down in trying-to-be reverent laughter. I wish you could have seen Claire’s face after she gave her part all memorized, and the way Grace beamed each time she caught one of our eyes from the audience.

At Claire’s request, I chopped off her hair as she ate her french toast this morning. We both had finally had it with the wailing each morning when the brush comes out. Let’s just say that she hadn’t been in the running for this award for a loooooooong time, and so we decided it was best for a few inches of that snarled mess to go in the trash. She is pleased as punch with her new look.
Now this one’s going to make you sad: we carved pumpkins without you. I know, I know, you’re gonna be devastated you can’t reach your hands down in those babies and pull all the stringy seeds out and deal with everyone needing help at the same time, but something’s telling me you’ll survive ’til next year.
I must admit it makes me so happy that our kids are SO excited about this stuff.

It didn’t hurt that we had some good refreshments to keep us going as we carved:
Luckily we had trusty Josh to come help.As you know, I’m not a huge fan of the patterns you cut out. I love the real faces the kids make up (like Claire and Lucy’s on the right up there). But you’d be proud of me because I let it be their choice, not mine…except for the fact that I had to pretty much do Grace’s myself because boy howdy, I didn’t see the fine print that said “challenging” in small letters at the bottom of the pattern until it was too late.

I must say I am pretty proud of my work, but even more proud of Max and Elle there on the left. They did those all by themselves. Max’s is supposed to be Voldemort.

Still, next year we’re throwing out the patterns and getting more creative.

We saved some pumpkin seeds for you. Mmmmm.

We had the best Family Home Evening lesson that all began with some questions Claire had about the Plan of Salvation. The air was thick and everyone got caught up in the swell of the spirit.

We made sugar cookies on Sunday in between all the meetings I had to go to. Some people were very excited about that…(see Grace)
…and others were quite mad when they couldn’t eat the whole slew of cookies in one sitting (see Lucy). (Doesn’t that picture just make you want to kiss those chunky cheeks right off? I feel bad but I get such a kick out of Lu’s crying face…at least those times when it doesn’t break my eardrums.)

(yes, our kids are still ragamuffins…but pretty cute ones)
Max continues to get a high from volleyball.

Grace and I finished her book she’s been begging for help with forever.

I read while she experimented with some serious new hair looks for me.

We also learned the dance “Thriller” at a mother/daughter thing at church. Yes, I danced. Right along with all the other moms. And Grace laughed at me. But it was actually kind of fun.

Lucy was a “Mom” for her “community helper” day at school (since they can’t wear Halloween outfits to school).
She was quite excited about that fact, especially because it meant she could bring her “daughter” Dora to school with her.

Most of all though, we missed you like crazy.

Love you.
Love, Shawni

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  1. I love your photos and the kids did a great job on their pumpkins, even yours. This is such a cute post to send your hubby while gone, he must love to read these from you. It made me laugh to see your reference to the rugamuffins, I thought only I called their kids that. Love love that sad pouty face of Lucy. Happy Halloween!

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Claire's hair! And you did that yourself? It looks like it was cut in some hoity toity charge 80 bucks for a hair cut salon!!!
    And Lucy's expression of pure love and joy and excitment when she is holding her pumpkin with all her other siblings in the chairs…it makes me get tears in my eyes.

  3. I think I have asked you this before, but how do you do it without your husband so often? p.s. I didn't know you could also cut hair….you are just too awesome!

  4. So nice Shawni. The photos are beautiful! I need to try that hair reward with my 7 year old daughter! Our hair battles are wearing me out.

  5. Oh man this takes me back and almost makes me cry! What adorable children with a pretty great mom too! Can't wait to see you soon. Love feeling "caught up with what's going on at your fun house. GREAT pumpkins!

  6. Hey Shawni. Could you tell me where you got your table and chairs the kids are sitting at while carving pumpkins .. Ive been looking for a new style and i LOVE that table. thanks a million

    love the look on your brothers face in the background . where little lucy is crying.. i have a screamer too . who we think we are going to have hearing loss from.. its pretty high pitched.. love the posts and love the pumpkin carvings. they are AWESOME!

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