Primarily written by Adrienne, a homeschooling mother of seven, ages 10 and under. She chronicles life, laughs, struggles, and lessons learned as she raises a larger-than-most sized family and tries to figure out what she's doing day by day.

With occasional posts, Alexandra, Adrienne's older sister, writes of her ranch life in Nevada and raising four sons, ages 5 and under. Life is never dull and her boys have given her some pretty awesome stories to tell.

Stick around awhile, and you're sure to laugh, nod, smile, be encouraged, and see what life is like with a big (little) family.


Some things you just never think about - until they happen.

I've never "taught" any of my children to dress themselves. The just did it. Until now. Sterling, at the ripe old age of nearly two and a half, needs to learn this. Clothes, in his opinion, are meant to be worn until they wear off. He loves whatever he has on, most certainly does not want to change, and will protest if you make him. He's recently figured out how to put his shoes on, so I figured we'd take this a step further. The girls were changing their clothes multiple times a day at two, just for the fun of a cute new outfit. Sterling, not so much.

We started with pants, and he's worn jeans backwards often these days, but darn it, he did it himself. Socks were today's new item. He put one on quite successfully, put the second on rather crooked, and asked for help. I started straightening it when I realized he'd put the second sock over the first. Really?! Ah, we haven't progressed in this whole learning process quite as far as I thought. His underwear are beautifully backwards though - and his shoes happened to land on the right feet today.

I decided three nights ago that it was about time for little Miss Ruby to sleep through the night. I've allowed midnight nursings (and 2:00, and 4:00...) to last far too long. I moved Sterling's bed into Liberty and Eden's, woke Ruby up before I went to bed for a last feeding, and put her to bed feeling like I might just cry along with her at 2:00 am. She didn't wake until 4:20, I had to put her back in bed 4 times, but each time she only cried for a few seconds. It was strangely disappointing - Ruby has far more persistence than that! But all was good, and I was the only one laying wide awake, feeling the evidence of missing 4 nursings during the night!

The second night was even better - I had to put her back twice - I think. My brain doesn't remember that far back. It is pitiful when she comes wandering into my room at some random wee hour, little fists signing "milk" for all they are worth, and I deny her - but she takes it better than I dreamed possible.

Last night, I told her once to go back to sleep. Awesome. I actually slept most of the night without waking up. It's been, oh, a year and a half since that last happened. Sterling went back into his own bedroom, and nights have been reclaimed for sleep in our house. Beautiful.

Blaine's working at Bass Pro Shops in the "Creative Services" department. He helps set up products to be photographed. He's not actually touching a camera these days, painful for him, but at least it's in the right field - and a paycheck to boot. Yesterday he came home with a big blister on his hand - he'd steamed clothes for hours and apparently decided his finger was also a bit wrinkled. Ouch. He said he'd told his co-workers not to tell me that he can iron. He hasn't ironed in seven years. I told him neither had I! Not quite, but close. Wrinkles add character, right?


The work of a master.

Sterling wanted bread the other day. Blaine was eating some with his soup, and Sterling wanted two pieces. He was pretty direct about the two pieces part. This is what Blaine found a few minutes later...

Closer still....

Ah, yes. One hotdog still-in-the-package sandwich. Mmmmm.



"Mom, that sign says people who smoke can't shop in this store."

"Um, not exactly Eden. They can shop here. They just can't smoke inside while they are shopping."

"Oh. Do they know how to stop smoking for a few minutes while they get the things they need?"

"Oh, baby, I sure hope so!"


Turns out, the earth is round.

Did you know? It's impossible to fall off the face of the earth. The internet, however, is flat, and there's a curb. It's possible to disappear in these parts. Somewhere between laundry, dishes, school, chasing after Ruby the Terror and Sterling with his Bare Bottom, I got lost on my way back to the blog. So sorry.

And thus, an update is required.

This is Ruby's new look:
It's been building for a few weeks - these days, she doesn't crawl, she walks. Or at least, she doesn't crawl unless I'm trying to get photos. It took 10 minutes, a belly crawl on the floor (my belly-crawl, mind you - now that's something for photos!), Blaine and Liberty's coaxing, and 12 deleted photos before she finally showed off. Seriously, this one is just out to make my life harder. Oh, and the one side pony? She pulled the other out and tried to eat the band. Mmmm.
This is Sterling's favorite look. He's just out to relax and take life as easy as he can. Like the strategically placed bowl? Me too. Unintentional, and when he's 16 he'll wish he'd grabbed a bigger bowl, just for show. This is Sterling's new ball. It's about, oh, 6 hours old. An hour in, Ruby had three bites eaten and Sterling asked for bandaids for his new ball's owies. Fair enough. I told you Ruby's trouble.

She looks all but evil. Cute, but evil. She stole Liberty's hat quite cleverly, and wore it and giggled while Liberty searched for it. Liberty thought I'd hidden it and ran past Ruby a half a dozen times before she realized Ruby was wearing it. Ruby was in stitches she thought it was so funny.

This was yesterday, pumpkin picking with friends. The kids had a blast! It was definitely easier than last year's escapade. That one included a hayride, two babies not walking, an hour long corn maze, and me trying to carry three pumpkins, deciding that despite paying for four pumpkins, we were NOT getting four, because that meant me carrying two babies, four pumpkins and a camera that failed to capture photos of the dreaded pumpkin patch because, well, I lacked a free hand for that. This one was definitely less stressful.
Ruby, though, might have disagreed before it was all over with.
That's about it for news. Blaine's job search continues, school is going great but taking up more of our day than I would like, the house contains nine unpacked boxes, each containing Blaine's camera/work stuff, so I'm calling us unpacked. The garage doesn't count, does it?

We found a new pediatrician that I love thus far, I get lost less and less around town, and south continues to be argued as east in my mind. I don't know why, but I'm spun 90 degrees. I thought I'd solve my directional challenge, bought a compass and found out that it doesn't always work. Don't contemplate that one too hard. Sometimes working, as far as a compass is concerned, is just as bad as not working ever. Who decides when it's working? If it stuck still, it'd be right 25% if the time, right? Yeah, I don't think so either.

My new favorite: Acorn Squash. Cut it in half lengthwise, put 1T maple syrup and 1T whipping cream or butter in each hollow (ditch the seeds/pulp) and bake at 350 for an hour. Mmm.

See ya!