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.


ABC Mushrooms and Food Sharing 101

We had pizza for supper last night. Afterward, I had my younger two in the bathtub while the older two finished eating. Liberty came to me with a mushroom from her pizza. I love mushrooms, she doesn't, it's a good arrangement. I chewed and swallowed before she told me the whole story.

"I was eating my pizza and tasted a mushroom, decided it was too big and I didn't want to eat it, so I spit it out and thought you would like it instead."

"Um, yeah. Honey, next time can you not give me food you've already had in your mouth?"


Ewww. I know she's my daughter and all, but that's just a little too much sharing for me. Again, ew.

Blaine's headed across Arizona at the moment. Destination: San Diego. They decided that Friday, I think, after throwing around many different destinations. He was 8 hours out when I talked to him earlier.

Tomorrow Eden Rayne turns five. Wow! When Liberty turned 5, it was hard, but this almost seems worse. She's the baby! Not anymore, obviously, but she was. I just keep waiting for her to be 5 like Liberty was 5, but Blaine tells me it's not going to happen. Eden's a different breed altogether. She did, however, request that she only open the gifts from Blaine and I before he left, and save the others for her birthday. That was about as grown up as I've ever seen Eden!


It's really not that complicated, baby. It's not.

"Mom, can you make me eggs that are flat and either hard or runny?"

I laugh.

"Are those called fried or scrambled? I can't remember!"

"Fried, honey."

"Can you make me fried eggs that are runny?"

I fried her eggs. I broke one in the pan. It's the stove's fault, I'm sure. (Really, it's not level, so when 5 eggs in a pan are all on top of each other because they all run towards the back of the stove, I'm allowed to blame the stove. I say so.) When I broke her egg, she exclaimed, "Mom! That one's runny for sure!" So glad. I thought I was going to have to eat the broken egg. She wanted it - because it was runny for sure. Silly goose.

Sterling woke us up 2 hours after we went to bed. That was pretty much the end of my night. He's wheezing and coughing - and crying most the night. We camped out on the living room floor. He kept complaining of a belly ache. An hour in, I realized why. The rest of the night, during the 13 other times he woke up with a belly ache, I'd have giggled if I hadn't been so stinking tired. "Just toot, Sterling! You'll feel better!" It does, however, have me giggling now. That's one thing I never thought I'd say before motherhood introduced me to the world of all things not being obvious. It's really not that complicated, baby. It's not.

After my less-than-restful night that left my back feeling like - well, like I'd slept on the floor, I grabbed a glass out of the cupboard and put a scoop of sugar in it. My hand was on the coffee pot when I realized I probably should use a coffee cup. Is it nap time yet?

Blaine heads out again Saturday morning. He's still not quite sure where. Florida was the original plan, but the weather there is making them re-evaluate. Mexico came up as a possibility. He dug out his passport this morning. He's got one more year on it before marriage and the lack of funds to travel catch up with him and his passport to expires. Poor guy. I've never had a passport, so I'm really feeling his pain.


Just a common thief.

Sterling was stirring hot chocolate on the stove for me. Not certain he was getting the bottom as it heated, I took the spoon and stirred it a bit.

"Mama, I can't stir the haa' choc-ate any-more. You stir it Mama. I can't stir it. Nope."

"Why can't you stir it anymore?"

"'Cause you 'tole my 'poon!"



Momma's not nice after 8pm.

We moved rooms around today. I decided to put all the beds in the small bedroom, and all the dressers and toys in the front, larger bedroom. Before I started I figured if it didn't work, I'd move it back. Having moved three dressers and a set of bunk beds from one room to the other and having cleaned up the mess I made in the process, let's just say "ain't nothing" gonna make me change my mind. I'm still tired. But when Liberty brought Ruby out tonight because she was talking and Liberty didn't know what she was saying, then I found Sterling and Eden in the bathroom just after I had told them to go before bed - and all this was less than five minutes after tucking them in and saying goodnight, my blood pressure went up. I started to wonder at this combined bedroom idea. I'm pretty sure we're clear on the staying in bed part now. Momma's not nice after 8pm.

It's a long story... but a guy was here to fix the kitchen faucet today, and commented on my fixings for the potluck tomorrow. I was making sloppy joes - from scratch, which he apparently had never seen. Then, the bowl of dough raising on the counter, because I was lazy and made buns rather than heading out and buying them. I have a stand mixer, so this is not that big of a deal. I said I was being lazy, he commented, "Making buns is being lazy and going to the store is work?!" Uh, yeah. I have four kids. That's getting them in shoes, in the car, out of the car, across the parking lot, across the store, back across the parking lot, back into carseats, back out of carseats, back in the house. It's work. Making buns, not so bad. I got the four kids part out before he went, "Point taken." I laughed.

Never wanted to be a single parent, but just in case you were wondering, it's no fun. All the work, all the kids, no company, no fun. Blah. Blaine's paycheck, full of overtime and direct deposited yesterday, that was fun. Not worth missing him, but fun anyhow.

I'd better go. Hamburger buns to get out of the oven. I still say that was entirely worth it. Entirely.


Calling it a day after that one.

Let me start with a disclaimer - we live in town. Not a bad neighborhood from anything we've seen, but we've got neighbors. Lots of them.

We went for a walk today. The kids had been itching to go for a bike ride, it's been well below freezing for many days now, and it's finally warming up. It was 49 degrees and we headed outside. We were on the next street up from ours, and I stopped to fix Sterling and Ruby on the trike (that's a sight - photo another day) and a car pulled up near us. I ignored them. We started walking again, they followed along. It's daylight and an old guy is in his yard nearby, but it was still a bit strange. A "brown" - in my kids world, they're brown. And they are kind of right. Anyway, a brown man stuck his head out the window and asked why I didn't have at least one black baby in my group. Didn't I want a black baby? Would I like to add one to the mix? Uh... I just looked at him. "Why don't you have a black baby? You need to experience (stress on the word 'experience' here) a black man. Where's your man?" I said, "You mean my husband?" "You're married? For real?" "Yeah, definitely married. To a white man, obviously. Nothing personal, just the way it is." Then he told me he was just trying to be friends. Yeah, sure. The weird part was when Eden asked what he'd wanted as he drove away. What do I tell her??? And where's Blaine when I need him??? I have to admit, I'm a bit freaked, even though the guy, despite his crude suggestions, was polite - but my doors are locked and I couldn't help but wonder when the cops drove up and down my street 12 times in the hour after we got home if something bigger was going on. Ugh.



With Blaine gone, I let Eden sleep with me last night. She was thrilled. This morning, I told her that she was a great bed companion - I really expected to be pushed out of bed, kicked, something, but she did great. Her reply? "Yeah, but you kept taking the blankets. I kept having to pull them back to cover me and keep me warm."

Maybe Blaine's complaints about me stealing blankets has more merit than I gave him credit for.


Teething at it's finest.

Yesterday I thought Ruby fell asleep in the shopping cart. A good 20 minutes into her full-face plant into the handle, one of the kids ran up to her yelling. I scolded them for trying to wake her up and was informed she WASN'T sleeping. She'd been chewing on the handle the whole time. Ewwww.

"Mom, are these oranges or tactarines?" Sounded like something dangerous...

Sterling's wearing his undies to bed without accidents! Now that I type that, I'll be washing sheets - but he's been dry all week!

Blaine's in CA. He left Tuesday, driving the box truck full of photo shoot stuff. He called yesterday afternoon, having arrived and needing to rub in his surroundings. It's not even funny. A pool, two hot tubs, two full time gardeners... it's a rough life. Meanwhile, it was 3 degrees when I got up this morning. All five of us are in layers and more layers, and I gave in and turned the heat up to 69. Brrr. Poor B had to put a long sleeve shirt on over his t-shirt when the sun set, because it cooled off. Poor thing. I'm starting to rethink this whole "Sure, go to CA!" idea that I agreed to. Asking that in the mild November temps didn't sound nearly so bad as the frigid temps we're currently experiencing.

Whining over. Just had to get that out of my system.

Where do I find a boy's scarf? Or at least not a pink and purple one? Sterling wants one desperately, but all I can find are pretty feminine. I'm running out of ideas - but I'm not so desperate that I want to learn to crochet/knit/whatever skill I don't know how to do that involves making a scarf. Maybe I'll sew him one. Hmmm.

Puking seems to be done in my house. Ruby is happy when awake but sleeping lots - but with the impressive number of teeth currently making their way into Ruby's mouth, it's no wonder. Sterling escaped it all together, lucky guy.

Someone in Aldi yesterday commented on my children - particularly the number, ages, and lack of gender balance. She said Sterling was "a lucky boy" in a voice that said she didn't think he was so very lucky at all. I told her that his wife would be one blessed woman, and she looked at me with a puzzled look, then dawning, then complete agreement. I mean come on, wouldn't you have loved to marry a man who grew up with three sisters? One who understood what he was in for? Then again, my husband has five sisters, and I'm not sure if he knows what hit him yet. Maybe my theory's bunk.


Thank you, Eden.

In the dressing room at Target:
"Mom, your belly looks kinda like fireworks."
"You know, your belly button is the middle and the lines are like the fireworks."
Be still, my beating heart. The words I've so longed to hear.
"Eden, YOU gave me those lines."
"So did Liberty and Sterling and Ruby, right Momma?"
"Yeah, they helped too." Way to spread the responsibility, Eden.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, there was a pretty distinct snort from the neighboring stall when Eden told me my belly looked like fireworks. I'm just hoping it was another mother with an impressive case of fireworks herself. I'm hoping.


Sterling loves to cook.