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.


Stuff vs. People: A good choice - unless you're Christmas shopping.

I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet. It's bad. I usually have these things at least brainstormed about for a bit, but I rather forgot this year. So I've been trying to come up with ideas of things to get the kids... and Liberty has several things she likes - she's not too hard. Eden, on the other hand... and today, I realized why. Liberty is about "stuff". Eden's about people. When, during Bible for school, I asked them to complete the sentence "I wish I had _____." Liberty answered with several toys she's been looking at lately, Eden answered "Claire". Claire is her cousin. When I prompted her for some "thing" - since I was ready to take notes at this point - she finally came up with "a ball". Yeah, sure. That didn't work so well, and I'm back to no ideas.


It's all in the numbers.

Number of times I've sent children back to bed this morning before 9am: 4. One didn't get sent back, one got sent twice.
Number of times I get told I have my hands full when we go grocery shopping (on average, no lie): 6.
Number of kisses I get in a day (from children under 6): 30
Number of kisses I get from Blaine in a day: usually less than 30. :)
Number of laundry loads I do in a week: 6-8.
Number of times I sweep the kitchen in a week: 10.
Number of times I wipe pee off the wall/floor/potty chair/sink and other random places Sterling manages to hit in a day: 6.
Strangest place Sterling managed to hit in the last week: It's a toss up between the back of Dad and Mom's bathroom door and their bathroom vanity. And yes, the door was open when he hit it, and yes, it did make the door close. I'm almost impressed. Almost. Pretty sure Mom wasn't even close to being impressed.
Yes, Sterling is potty trained. All of the places he hits (or almost always. We'll allow for the rare accident.) are from the potty chair or the toilet. Any minute now he'll develop a sense of aim - but I'm not holding my breath.
Number of times I yell "Ruby Alexandra!" in an hour: 5-10. Unless she's sleeping - then I get a blessed reprieve. Ruby needs to learn to take longer naps before I go hoarse.
Number of times I've been told my hands were full by a stranger when I didn't have all of my children with me: I lost count. 25+. I don't even tell them what they are missing anymore.

Our house is roughly 900 square feet. That's 150 per person, if it were divided evenly. Yet, I rarely get more than 2 square feet around me - and if I try to cross out of those 2, I trip over someone. Why is that? Sadder still, why did I have to hunt down a calculator to figure out 900/6?

The look on the lady's face at Walmart yesterday when she asked Liberty if they were all brother and sisters, Liberty said yes, then Liberty told me that we need more boys for Sterling and I said maybe someday? Absolutely priceless. Shocked, slightly disgusted, and absolutely hilarious. Apparently she thought I hadn't had them all on purpose. Really now.


Fun times, for sure.

Home again. :) We spent the last week in South Dakota at my parents. Blaine stayed home to work and a friend and I ventured north. I left my friend in Iowa with her family and continued on, spending Mon-Sat with my parents. The kids had a blast. Notice all the photos here? Yep, I took so many I can't even stand it. Seriously. My camera never made it out of it's bag. Nice.

We hit one fairly impressive snow storm in the top of MO, saw a lot of vehicles in the ditch, and thankfully drove (35 mph) out of it just before hitting Iowa. I'm not certain if no snow while in South Dakota is a disappointment or not. Sterling freaked out when we stopped during the snow storm on the way there - the snow was apparently attacking him. I rather hoped he'd get to play in it a bit once in SD, but it was beautiful. I guess I can't complain about that!

We went to visit my grandmother there. Grandma was a nurse (still is, I imagine!) and had a photo of herself in her uniform, taken some 60 years ago. She asked Eden if she still looked like that, and Eden told her "No, because you're old now.". Oh, dear. I'm not certain if Grandma was offended or not. But really, why is our age offensive? I'm still pondering that one.

I brought home a bike for Liberty from my parents. I strapped it to the roof rack - something Blaine's used for bikes many times. It took 4 hours and 4 stops to get the straps to stop making so much noise. I was starting to debate the "leave the bike somewhere along the way for some needy soul who finds road noise at deafening decibels tolerable" option before I finally managed to quiet things down up there a bit. I found myself holding my breath as we pulled away from the rest area, waiting for the wind to hit it. The pitch it screeched changed with each stop and attempted silencing, but finally it quit. It did keep trying off and on all the way home though. Seriously. Arriving in Springfield and turning my van off brought blessed silence - until I realized my ears were still screeching along to perfect rhythm. Somebody shoot me.

Blaine's sister and her family are coming for Thanksgiving - arriving sometime tomorrow, I think. She said my messy house didn't matter, but I'm thinking they'd appreciate not having to wade through the animal crackers and rice crispies on the kitchen floor - or the luggage in the living room - or the laundry in the laundry room. Tomorrow's gonna be fun. Oh, and food in the house might be good too. Yep, gonna be a blast. I'm starting to think Liberty and Eden need to start Thanksgiving's school break a day early.


Old Man Pants, Bandaids, and more, at a store near you.

Ah, it's been too long. I know.

The weather here, I must say, is beautiful. 70+ degree days makes for happy kids outside - which makes for one happy momma. It's hard to remember it's November.

This week is a crazy one. Appointments all week, Sunday dinner for the church at our house, then Monday morning the kids and I are headed north to visit my parents for the week. I can't sleep, I've confused days a few times, panicked when I thought I overlapped appointments, and then found one day trying to decide what to do. Company coming, but not for a few more days - cleaning is a pointless venture. The menu's planned, too soon to buy groceries... so I gave Sterling a haircut. I went a little crazy I think, he's looking considerably balder than before I started, but he declared himself "pretty" so it's all good!

Today I had a doctor appointment. Without sharing too many details, let me just say - sometimes, they just don't get it. "Wouldn't that just mask the symptoms?" "Well, yes, but that would be ok, right?" Uh, no, I don't want a bandaid, I want a cause - or just say you don't know, that would work too! Really now. That was a mostly pointless two hour wait.

Ruby. Dear, dear Ruby. Stay tuned for an auction for the highest bidder... "Get out of the cabinet. Don't eat that! Don't rip that! Get down from there! That wasn't supposed to go in the garbage. That hair's attached - and I'd rather keep it attached! STOP IT!" She, of course, looks at me like I've grown a third eye and keeps on keeping on until I physically stop her - then she gets mad. Very, very mad. Look out, she's trouble and giving me a run for my money. Sterling has a foam fish the Bass Pro store guy gave him when we returned Blaine's old man pants - stay tuned for that story too. The foam fish though - he's had his tail glued back on 5 times. Ruby likes to eat fish tails.

And, the old man pants. Bass Pro has an outlet store. They put the catalog props/clothes in there, among other things. Nice stuff, some quite cheap. I found a pair of jeans for Blaine in there for $10. His size is apparently slightly unusual, thus hard to find. Thrilled to find his size, I confirmed the return policy and got them for him. Blaine tried them on that night, emerging from the bedroom with a "Uh, these are old man pants." Old man pants. Old man pants?! Do they really make old man pants? Old lady pants, sure. They are polyester and sit neatly just below the boobs. But in jeans - for men? These were my thoughts as Blaine rounded the corner. I just about cried, I laughed so hard. They had a built in "spare tire below the belt" pouch - for a 30 inch waist. With no tire to spare, Blaine looked like, well, an old man. Less the gut. But hey, we got a free foam fish out of the deal.