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.


Ah, the intricacies of Eden.

Eden’s new favorite word: tempted. Turns out, she’s tempted a lot. Or she doesn’t quite understand the definition of “tempted”.

She’s tempted to take her watch off when I use that stuff so it doesn’t get dirty.

She’s tempted to not put sugar on her cereal. (This after I had to explain why sugar does not have a daily value assigned. I made the mistake of saying sugar isn’t necessary to a healthy diet. Rephrase: sugar is necessary to my diet.)

She’s tempted to clean off her bed. (Don’t hurt yourself, Darling. It’s a small large disaster on there.)

The girl loves to sing. Painfully off-key, but she loves to sing. When she can’t remember a tune, she makes one up. It hurts. Yesterday she was dancing around the house singing “Oh, oh, the Mr. Toe.” I didn’t correct her, because then she’d want to know what mistletoe is and I don’t know that I’d want to get into that tradition.

She got a word-find book from Liberty for Christmas. It’s well-above a five year old level, but she doesn’t care. If she can’t find the word, she just writes it in the margins and circles that. Or she circles the letters in the puzzle, one at a time, that spell the word, scattered randomly around.

Rules? Eden doesn’t care to understand them. She beats to her own drum. Ruby’s following in her footsteps.

I’ve got my work cut out for me.


Fascinating numbers:

My nieces make hats. They are beautiful. Check out: to see them. They asked me to measure my kids’ heads to know sizes to make for the hats. They are:

Liberty 20"

Eden 20.25"

Sterling 20.75"

Ruby 18.75"

Charlotte 17”

Yep, Sterling has a big head. Apparently he gets it from me:

Blaine 22.5”

Adrienne 22.75”

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.


Our tree, cut in the back pasture, decorated very carefully with only the lightest unbreakable ornaments, and much-loved by children who do not remember what a real Christmas tree is supposed to look like.

Well, that was just cool.

Sterling loved his work boots. All summer, he’d put on his work boots, his “work” jeans (jeans with holes in the knees, to match the holes in his Daddy’s jeans that were well-earned crawling in the crawlspace) and he’d head out to help his Daddy. Blaine had much to do, mostly in the crawlspace, involving re-plumbing water and sewer lines and running new gas lines as well. This house was a wreck. But Sterling had a great time helping his Daddy.

A couple months ago, Sterling’s work boots had to go. They were a size 7, killing his feet, but it was still a very sad day for Sterling. I looked for a new pair, but couldn’t justify spending the money on a new pair. Still, I kept looking for some at all the consignment stores. My mom was looking for some too.

Yesterday I took the kids shopping for gifts for each other. We had just walked out of a $1 store, the three older kids were already in the van, Ruby was throwing a fit it typical Ruby fashion, and a car pulled up next to mine. The woman got out, commented on Ruby’s coughing and I said it was all fake in the name of getting her own way. There was no way this lady saw my other kids except for Ruby and Charlie. So when she asked if I had a boy, I said yes, wondering if she knew us from somewhere.

Nope. She popped open her trunk, pulled out a pair of work boots identical to Sterling’s old ones, only in a size 9 and asked if he would like them. She said she’d bought them at a consignment store, feeling led to buy them with no one to give them to – just that God would show her. It was incredible. Sterling put them on immediately, wore them all afternoon, then gave them to me to wrap for him for Christmas. Right then, it was pretty incredible. God cares for even the little, frivolous things like giving Sterling the desires of his heart – new work boots. That’s awesome.


What does that mean?

Apparently Brady has me trained. She barks at her water bowl, I rinse and fill it. Really now.

Eden heard the “making a list/checking it twice” line and asked what it meant. The idea of Santa is a fairly foreign concept to her, and after explaining it, she asked, “If it really was true, if there really was a list, would I be on the naughty list?” Oh, honey. We all would.

I was informed by my dear three year old son that “There was a stop sign back there, Mom!” I replied, “I know honey. I stopped. Quickly.” The look of confusion on his face told me to wait for the rollback next time or he’s ratting me out.

Eden got carsick on the way home the other day. She was supposed to clean out the van, but didn’t do so great of a job. Neither did the cat she then locked (accidentally, I assume) in the van. That was one terrified half-wild cat that spent the night in the van. She left gifts. Really, if she was going to jump in there and leave her mark, couldn’t she have at least done a better job with the vomit?

An Amish woman in the grocery store asked if my children are all mine. I told her they were, and she asked how close in age they are and commented on my hands being full. Nothing new – except for the Amish woman part. It’s given me pause to think - I just haven’t reached any conclusions yet. When a person that is part of a church that teaches that children are a blessing and encourages all you can have asks a question like that, what does that mean?


Adrienne’s* helpful hints #153

Taking a pair of tights – women’s or girls’ (Liberty’s worked. Thanks, L.) – and cutting a two inch wide strip from around the top of the leg (so that it’s still an unbroken circle) and then hot-gluing a 1” or so length of ribbon around it in one spot, overlapping the ribbon and gluing with a spot of glue on the inside only makes a great headband. An alligator bow/flower clip can then be slid under the ribbon on the outside. Voila! One of those “interchangeable” headbands at the cost of one pair of old, worn-out tights. If you can stop at just one color. Next up are my black ones. I have never heard of a better use for the awful things.


Clean is preferable. Of course.

Or, like mine, purchased with great intentions, yet never, ever worn.



Charlie loves hers.IMG_2686


I think.IMG_2689

It’s not scary. I promise.


*This helpful hint originated from an acquaintance. I’m simply not this creative on my own.


Christmas, homemade.

My sewing machine and I have been hard at work making Christmas dresses (less the green and red, since I do not plan on putting in so many hours sewing for something that can be worn just at Christmas!) for the girls. Sterling wondered what he was getting, so I made him a shirt to “match”. Yes, they know what they are getting. There are not nearly enough midnight hours to sew after bedtime.

Upon finishing, I’ve decided more boys would be a good thing, since that shirt took a fraction of the time and work as those dresses! Without further ado, ruffled dresses, a button-down shirt, and no close-up shot so that they can look nearly perfect – from afar.  Smile



Ha! Those doors look mostly clean and you can’t even see the cobwebs from that shot! Perfect.


It’s a good thing you’re cute, Dog.

Brady seems to have caught the flu from the kids. At least that’s what I’m assuming that’s what she was telling me with her little surprises all over the house this morning. Note to self: kennel Brady tonight.


All great literature… leads to great quotes.

“Eden, I needed that spoon to get MY yogurt!”

“Sorry Lib.”

“Just wash it.”

Eden washes the table.

“Not the table Eden! The spoon!”

Eden wipes the spoon with the dishrag.

“Eden! Wash the spoon in the sink, not with that rag! You’re just like Amelia Bedelia.”

I love it.


Hmm… poor, poor boy.

"Did you go potty?"

"No, I couldn't."

“Why not?”

“Because I tried to open the toilet, but the lid was too heavy.”

We’ve been dealing with vomit – or did deal with it, since it seems to have passed. Sterling, though, must be experiencing loss of strength. Or something like that.


Adrienne’s helpful hints #256

Spreading a thin layer of honey in a strip along the front edge of your cabinets allows you to fill the cabinet to the line and those pesky items that protest the overfill will stick into the honey and stay put when you open the cupboard! Problem solved! Be aware that doing this on lower shelves that children can reach may end up with sugared up children and licked-clean honey strip.


After spending an hour cleaning the tub that I scrubbed less than a week ago, I’ve come to one conclusion: the maize color that was so popular in the 70’s? It was for a reason. Instead of Rust-B-Gone, it was “Rust? Where?” I mean, really, if you can’t see it, who cares? I find myself hoping black tubs come into style. I can scrub soap scum off without a problem, but the iron in our water? It’s another issue. An orange issue. One that Comet, Lime Away, and Tilex come together, fight hard, and lose miserably. Elbow grease, ha.


Blaine tells me you can’t see into the house during the day. My hero, he checked for me. So what was that Dodge doing???


Ruby wins.

Ruby likes to procrastinate at bedtime. She’ll go potty, get her diaper on, and then decide she needs to go again. And again. As many times as she can convince you. Diaper off. Diaper on. Off. On. Tired of this scheme, the new rule: go before the diaper goes on. Go to bed. Stay there! So when Ru came out announcing she needed to go night before last, I sent her back to bed. Ten minutes later, she pranced into the kitchen and announced, “I pooped.” Last night when she came back out to potty, guess what? I let her go. Score: Ruby 1, Momma 0.