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.


We bought a house a few months ago. No shocker there. Three and a half months and much labor later, we look like we don't clean up after ourselves. Rest assured, dear neighbors, this will all be better. Someday. First things first, we're getting a lawn mower. I'm beyond excited. We have a push mower that I'd used up until about a month ago, when baby #5 decided it was time I stop spending 5 hours a week mowing our hills. Or rather, it is quite possible that my body was the one who made that decision. Either way, our lawn is now a month long, thankfully a dry month, but pathetic and driving me nuts all the same. Come Thursday, hopefully I can ride around in style on our new (to us) riding lawn mower. So excited. But the pipes laying in the yard? They'll be gone eventually, I'm promised. The trees will be trimmed when the things that are louder stop screaming. We really are accomplishing something here. The kids toys will likely be there for many years to come, though. Who needs flowers when you have colorful trikes and scooters everywhere, right? Ugh. Maybe next year.
We may have hot water come the weekend. Maybe. You just never hold your breath on these things; they have a way of not working out often enough. But the gas company comes Friday to test Blaine's work and a hot shower is nearly tangible from there. All the water pipes are replaced and every faucet is functioning - things I will not take for granted for a very long time, I'm thinking.

My newest realization: we bought a house in a great location. Love it. But when two of my four dear children get carsick on the curves on the way into town, I'm starting to wonder. I've started to carry a clean outfit for one dear child everywhere we go, since that one is less than capable of hitting the bucket completely - but we have a bucket I can throw into the backseat with deadly aim these days even when driving. I'm not certain how my van smells these days, but my guess is someone else could tell me better than I. I doubt it's pretty. If you ever ride with me, be forewarned. You start to hear coughing, you've got about 2 minutes before a bucket flies through the air at the noisy one, all the windows go down in an attempt to cool the cougher off and ward off the inevitable - but it never works. Lunch always comes back to visit a second time. If we show up to something and you smell something fishy, pretend it's someone else, please. I try. I've started carrying wipes again, but you can only do so much. It's not contagious, I promise. And for the record, this is all Blaine's fault. They did not inherit this trait from me.


Liberty asked me today what comes after Romans. I said Ephesians. My dear husband corrected me when I told him this story, so before you email me regarding my error, I know. In all fairness I was 2 hours into typing court reports for a job I've started for an online news site, and my head was swimming. I do not know law, the correct way to word things, or how to think about books of the Bible and felonies at the same time. My brain doesn't multitask as well as I once thought, it turns out.

So, Ephesians. Or rather, what Liberty told Eden when she repeated my response. "Confusions, Eden. It's Confusions." Ah yes, that would describe my state of mind, at the very least.

Brady, dear dog, finally learned to ring the bell when she wants to go outside. And that yes, she really wants to go outside for such business. It took some convincing on that part, and she's not without her accidents, but finally. Ah, the rejoicing when that little bell rang was a sight to behold. The girls, my belly and I did a little dance. If you can call jerky uncoordinated and slightly painful movements on my part dancing. My belly though, it danced. Just kept right on jiggling, even after I'd stopped. Dwell on that one for a moment and let me know if you laughed - or cringed. Ah, the joys.

A photo, provided it's flattering according to me, is coming. Just as soon as I've done my hair, makeup, and find a shirt that will still cover the bottom of my belly. Don't hold your breath - but know that I'm working on it. If nothing else, I'll go buy a Mu-mu. A really, really flattering Mu-mu. You know.

Baby's big, but not as big as Sterling was at this point. Due in 4 weeks. Please, please, make that 2? Fun once-a-week appointments have begun. I'm dilated to 1cm. 50%. That means nothing, I assure you. Except that I'm not in labor, I suppose. No name yet. No closer to a name yet. Poor, poor child. In our discussions of proper and common nouns today, we were talking of first, middle and last names, and going through Blaine's siblings and all their many names. We named off 22 first/middle names that his parents had to choose, and Liberty said, "Wow! That's a lot of names to have to pick!" Tell me about it. Trying to pick 10 is hard enough. Sterling was playing "Meanie, Meanie, Mo, Catch a Tiger by his Toe..." in Sterling fashion today. Maybe we should just get out to baby name book and let him at it.

I'm tired. And tired writings from me typically go cynical. Or sarcastic. I'd better just call it a night before this gets worse.


A few rather long stories on a really hot day that has not included indoor plumbing or A/C... bear with me here.

CATO cashier:
"Wow! You are really pregnant!"
"Um, thanks. I have at least a month left."
"Is it twins or something?"
"Oh. Um, you look really good."
Gee, thanks! Somehow I'm not certain that was a compliment after all that. But it does explain why I'm feeling mostly miserable these last few days. Apparently I look ready to explode. It's going to be an interesting month-month and a half.

I went out alone today. Shocker, I know. But apparently being alone with a giant belly invites all sorts of comments I haven't gotten since several kids back. A man in the store asked me if I was having a boy. When I said I didn't know, he informed me he thought I was, since my "all-round, low belly" usually means a boy. Time will tell, but it was interesting anyhow. With all of the others I'd have random people guess and only once do I remember someone being wrong. Apparently if you feel free to comment, you have a lot of experience with these things.

Oh, and the reason I was out and about on a Saturday? Blaine disconnected the sewer to work on it. First, no hot water, then no water except in the hose and the toilet and the kitchen sink, and now, no nothing except the hose and the kitchen sink. No toilet is not a good plan. TMI, I'm sure, but I'm pretty sure my balance is off enough right about now that finding a tree and attempting to make use of the outdoors would land poison ivy or some such thing in some pretty dreadful places when I fell over. Thank you, Hobby Lobby, for your public restroom. And Blaine, for suggesting that today was a great day to go shopping - alone. Dear man.

Monday I went grocery shopping. Hang in there with me here, this story gets better. So first I took the kids to the library, checked out 35 books - mostly kids books I've read 12 times each, aloud. But I digress. So we haul the books back to the car, thoroughly enjoying the 100 degree day. Literally, 100 degrees. Hottest day since 2007 I'm told. We made a deposit at the bank, after debating whether to get cash out. Nah, I'm good with just the debit card and the 30.00 cash I have. Got to Aldi, needed a quarter for the cart. No wallet. My wallet seems to have migrated from my purse to an unknown location - at home. I had 30.00 cash in my purse anyhow, so if I be careful at Aldi, I'll be fine there, then I'll call Blaine and get his debit card from him. Faster than going home - 12 miles away from where I was. If I hadn't made the deposit yet, things would have been fine - I could have gotten cash. But no ID and no debit card means the bank won't talk to me now. So I broke part of my 30.00 to get a quarter for the Aldi cart, and some apparently less than careful calculating, and checkout later... 34.76. Nope. Not going to work. Put some cereal and butter back. We'll survive until next shopping trip. 29.83. Seriously! I have 29.75. The other .25 is in the cart. The cashier must have had one of those days before, because she gave me change for 30.00 and told me to bring the quarter back inside after I'd returned the cart. Whew. Embarrassing, but I'll survive.

Call Blaine. No answer. Try again. Nope. Fine then. I'll drive the 12 miles home to get my wallet, because this was the day, there was my list, and some things were pretty critical on it. Half an hour later, I'm at the bread store, wallet in hand, and my van that has decided to overheat when the A/C is running some time ago - forgot to mention that part - the van overheats even with no A/C on. Remember, it's 100 degrees. I have four sweaty kids with me who were quite hungry, waiting for the bread store stop so I could make them PBJ's. The van decided overheating during A/C was not enough. Not it's overheating without A/C. Solution: turn the heat on. High. Open windows, blaring heat, praying for all green lights as we head to our last stop - trust me, things were not so pretty. I'm fairly cool (ha!) most of the time, but this day was seriously getting to me by then. I parked at the far end of the lot at the last store, finding a pull-through spot just in case this trip ended with a bang and I needed to be able to get to the front of the van. You know, that fear.

I can't find my list. Seriously. Please, end this drama now and let something go right? I'm digging, and I hear Bang! Bang! I turn to see Ruby with her new metal water jug, banging the shiny red car that parks on the far side of the lot to avoid people like me and my children and their metal water jugs denting his shiny red car. "RUBY! NO!!!" She stops. I start to inspect the shiny red car - still quite shiny and without evidence of Ruby's abuse, look up, and an older man is watching me. Just the type of older man that would own a... oh, no. Please. No. But of course, it's his car. And all he says is "My! That's a lot of children! Do they obey?" "Um, most of the time, but they are children and right now... we're at the end of a shopping trip and it's hot and things are not going well." "Ah, I see." And he got into his car and left! No inspection of Ruby's work. Really, she didn't do any damage. But I was scared nonetheless. So I found my list, got my things, and then took the interstate home, just so I could get more air in the van than the fearfully hot air blasting into my 33-weeks-pregnant lungs up to that point. And yes, my lungs are pregnant too. Trust me on that one.

Just for the record, Blaine also offered up his van for my use until the other is fixed. It does not have a second sliding door and is smaller, but the A/C works and the heat is only optional. I accepted. He's a very kind soul.
Apparently I'm highly predictable. While my search baby names is still on, Facebook friends came through with many name suggestions. About 80% are on my favorite list - a list of names that contains none that thrill my dear husband. But the fact that my friends have nailed almost my entire list is almost disturbing. Almost.

One morning Sterling came bursting into the back door with, "Momma, you're the best..." He trailed off, paused, my heart was cheered by his outburst - and then he corrected himself. "Momma, I'm the best fire truck driver!" Ah, yes. For a moment there, I thought perhaps I was doing something just right for my boy. What a moment.

Mom's Night Out last night. Such fun. No kids. It was awesome. And the snuggles I got this morning, evidence that I really was missed, were pretty awesome too.

"Momma, where's the dutch tape?"
"You mean the duct tape?"
"I said dutch tape!"
"I know you did. It's duct tape."
"That's what I said! Dutch tape."
Ok, Eden. Whatever you say. Funny enough though, she may just start a new word around here. Then, when I informed her we didn't have any in the house, only masking tape, I heard as she headed outside to tell Blaine, "Daddy? Momma said we only have mask tape. There isn't any dutch tape in the house." Yep, whatever you say.


Name that baby.

You know those people who have the baby named before it's even conceived? You know who you are. Two people, so in sync that they can agree on a name together without much fuss - something Blaine and I are not. So not. With that in mind, anyone have name suggestions that flow with our others - and preferably don't re-use any of their first initials? I'd willingly give up that one if I found a truly great name though - that Blaine agreed to.

And before you think this is easy, let me assure you, it's not. Eden Rayne was the earliest named at around 7 months, Liberty Skye, and Sterling Blaine got their "If it's a..." names around 8.5 months gestation, and dear Miss Ruby was several hours old before Blaine finally told me I could choose from our list of "Maybe's" and name her. Morphine had a play in the naming of Ruby Alexandra, in case you were wondering. Morphine in me, not Blaine. Obviously.

So if you have any suggestions, comment away. And if your find your comment deleted, you may very well have won first place - and with it, the recognition of having named that baby. In the meantime, I'm thinking five kids might be plenty. Ten names later (well, eight, if you want to be specific since this one is yet unnamed) this hasn't gotten any easier. We've used up all the good ones up. 20,000 names in my baby name book and nothing jumps out anymore. Might be a good time to stop. Or build a bigger blog, with more readers. Someone should be able to think of something that way, right???