I adore summer.


Every day this week, I’ve crowed at 4 p.m. “Look! I’m not driving anyone to lessons or practices!”


Everyone has big goals– Xander is teaching himself to play the piano, Gabe is learning Arabic (yes, Arabic), Mary has three sewing projects and the entire Narnia series to tackle. Poor Hans has almost no choice– his free hours are filled with driver’s ed, two online high school classes and a directive to get a year ahead in French so he can join his friends in Level 4 this fall.


Despite his job at the car wash, (Mister Hotshine– makes me laugh every time I see his shirt) Stefan’s goals are a bit different– he’s trying to not work as hard, learning to stay up late to acclimate himself to college life.


And me, I’m letting the house be messy, filling my kitchen table with quilt scraps and dress patterns and devoting myself to an hour of writing a day. I’m taking on less photography in hopes of regaining my creative edge. Can I say it’s kind of amazing? When I follow kids around sweeping up crumbs I just feel grumpy and exhausted, but when I sit at the table with my projects– refereeing fights, reminding kids to practice, admiring their latest creation– I am happy and energized (even if the backyard is littered with flour bombs and costumes are strewn up and down the stairs).

Who knows what we’ll create this summer? Probably far less and more than we think.

Jet Pack! from Michelle Lehnardt on Vimeo.

Awesome from Xander Lehnardt on Vimeo.

Spy Candy from Xander Lehnardt on Vimeo.

June 4, 2012



  1. Hildie

    June 8, 2012

    Let me tell you, boys do not have the corner on the market in rowdiness, yelling and mess-making. I can prove it.

  2. Chocolate on my Cranium

    June 8, 2012

    I’m with Hildie. Whoever said girls don’t eat a lot or aren’t rowdy or messy didn’t have seven of them! 🙂

    I love all the candid shots of your days. I need to do better at that with my own kids. Those are the moments I will miss when they are gone.

  3. Mormon Women: Who We Are

    June 8, 2012

    Celebrate and revel away. You deserve it.

    And I’m coming to believe that a messy house can be a very, very healthy thing. We’ve got sewing projects and craft stuff and blankets strewn all about from reading marathons. I know they need to learn to clean, but they have their lists every day, too. I think it’s good to also just be able to have some space to *be.*

  4. Selwyn

    June 8, 2012

    I like this very much. I hope you all have a beautifully fantastic summer!

    And I hope you post the other one I like very much soon/again too.

  5. Michelle

    June 8, 2012

    Oh I never said boys corner the market. Mary can hold her own against all five of them. But it’s a unique dynamic.

  6. Tracy

    June 9, 2012

    Oh this sounds wonderful. Our Summer started at 3pm yesterday and I am so ready! xoxo

  7. Cath

    June 9, 2012

    Just watched the videos with my girls and they loved Spy Candy. Gabe does make a fabulous villain. And the special effects were quite rockin’. Xander on his bike hauling up the street with a rocket booster on his back? Very Cool. xo

  8. Kerri

    June 10, 2012

    I adore summer. I love love love more time for kids to be kids. And I love your pictures.

    And I second Kellie!

  9. Lisa

    June 12, 2012

    Summer is the best…I love every day of it. And now I’m glad that I have an excuse for a messy house.

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