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.


Fireflies or lightning bugs?

On the way home last night, we drove past several fields all aglow with fireflies. Or lightning bugs. Whatever you want to call them. The conversation went a little like this:

Me: "Look at all the lightning bugs in the fields!"
Liberty: "Oh, there's fireflies too!"
Me: "Fireflies are lightning bugs. Same thing, different name."
Liberty: "Do lightning bugs bite?"
Me: "No. We've talked about this before."
Liberty: "We did? I thought we were talking about fireflies."
Me: "Honey, fireflies ARE lightning bugs. Same bug. Different name."
Liberty: "Oh, so fireflies and lightning bugs must be friends!"
Me: "Oh boy. Liberty. They are the same. It's like a nickname. It's like calling it a couch and a
sofa. A cup and a glass. Same thing. Two names."
Liberty: "Oh, so lightning bugs ARE fireflies?"
Me: "That's what I've been trying to tell you!"


Homeownership has been... well, so far mostly the downs of trying to get things ready to move in, but we're loving it anyhow. The yard is awesome, the shop has Blaine quite pleased with his space to work in, and the fireflies are great fun for the kids. Yes, I know fireflies come out after dark and long past bedtime. My poor children are on a new, no-bedtime schedule. Last night it was 10pm before we were home, their filthy bodies were bathed, and all were in bed. On a bright side of this late night life, bedtime is super easy, once Sterling gets his pj's on. He gets a bit emotional when he's tired, so that's always fun, but Ruby is too tired to get out of bed - something she's been trying lately when she's not completely exhausted. It's a good thing she's not been fighting me - I don't have the energy to deal with it.

Sterling is three! Photos to follow - as soon as Blaine dumps his camera onto the computer. Every day though, Sterling gets up and informs me he's still three - I think he's a little afraid of reverting back to two.

The landlord wants us to move asap. Theoretically we have the house until the end of July, but moving sooner means less rent - a very cool thing. They have a new renter that wants to move in sooner, so now the pressure is on to get the new house ready. That news came on the heels of being informed from the propane company that our gas line is leaking. Add another job to Blaine's list of jobs to finish. In the meantime, my procrastination on buying paint for the kitchen paid off. Lowe's has a mail in rebate on the paint I wanted now! Very cool. I bought that today, and am headed out there later to start painting the kitchen. Yesterday we microwaved water to scrub the house down (no gas hooked up because of gas leak means no hot water) and we're starting to take everything we can live without out there. Great fun. Makes moving day easier!

I've mowed the lawn out there twice. The first time, a month after being mowed for the first time of the year, took me 7 hours with our 21" push mower. It was disastrously tall! The second time, five days after I mowed it the first time, took 4 hours. Much better. I read yesterday that pushing a lawn mower burns 408 calories an hour. Pad that slightly since the lawn is 80% hill, and that's looking like a great exercise program!

That's all I've got. Life's crazy busy, trying to go back and forth between the two houses, maintain both - and if you think that's crazy, hold on a minute. We're eating supper out there every night, often lunch too, cooking only on the grill without a stove or fridge, hauling dirty dishes back to the rental since there isn't any hot water. Ok, minute over. Back to work on... something! Babies are sleeping, and with our late nights, I hate to interrupt their naps to haul them back out there so that I can paint. So, here I sit.


One memorable day - some memories better than others.

Yesterday, we closed on our house. Half an hour of signing our life away and handing over one very large (in my world, anyhow!) hard-earned check, and we have keys! We did that over Blaine's lunch hour, then Blaine in his van and me in mine with the kids headed to lunch quick before Blaine went back to work. Stop and go lunch-break traffic near the mall later... Blaine stopped abruptly in front of me, and I couldn't get the van stopped in time. I bumped Blaine! Seriously. He has a lovely license plate etched out of the paint on his rear bumper. I'll never, ever live this one down. Pretty sure. In all fairness, the can's brakes are a bit strange sometimes. I'm blaming them.

After lunch, Blaine headed back to work and the kids and I headed home to pack up cleaning supplies and headed out to our new house to clean it up a bit. When we got there, we realized we'd left quite possibly the most important bag we'd packed - the toilet paper! What a day.

Today, we're painting polka dots. With the weather not cooperating with my plan to mow the hayfield that is now our yard, we're going to buy the paint for the kitchen, air out the house Blaine bug-bombed last night and paint polka dots on the kids bedroom walls. So much to do - and yet, it's great fun to do it for our own house again.

On another note, Sterling doesn't like the storms we have going on right now. He told me this morning that the thunder is scared (scary, I think he meant!) and asked if I could turn it off. He wasn't pleased when I told him I don't have a switch for that one.


Random thoughts on a rainy day.

I made oatmeal for breakfast this morning. After the kids were done, all four, ages 20 months to 6 11/12ths years hopped up, scraped their bowls and put them in the dishwasher. A mother of eleven told me once, several years ago, that those were the hardest years. Now, a few years later, my olders - at the ripe old age of 5 and nearly 7 - are teaching the youngers - without any encouragement from me. It's certainly posing new challenges - but the benefits far outweigh the problems. I can only imagine it gets better from here.

On that thought, tomorrow is my 20 week ultrasound for this baby. Followed by a dentist appointment, our final walk through on the house, and the marriage class we've been gleaning much from at Gospel of Grace Church. But for today, I've got nothing going on. I'm going to enjoy today.

Thursday, barring the unforeseen, we are closing on our house. We take possession the same day. I've been having fun comparing paint swatches and have decided on a color for the kitchen. The kids room I'm going to make a few different sized circle stencils and paint polka dots in six colors that the kids picked out. Fun fun.

Sterling learned the proper name for his male body parts on Saturday. He's a bit confused though, calling it a "peanut". Poor boy.

Sterling has a firetruck bike. When it gets rained on, the sirens on the bike go on - and not off. Removing the batteries until things dry out is the only cure. At 2:00 am, when I heard thunder booming and rain coming down in buckets, I knew that bike was likely playing it's annoying tune. And then I rolled over and went back to sleep. It was (still, most likely) going off at 7:00 am this morning, warning all in the backyard of it's travel to a fire. Without a driver. Our poor neighbors. Pretty certain there's things going on in a few of the surrounding houses that shouldn't be. Maybe they were dashing around, panicking, hiding paraphernalia at the sound of sirens. Oh, what a sick, fun thought.

I can't wait to move.


You know those people that have a nickname for their babies long before they are born? Peanut, squirt, munchkin, junior - you know. I've always wanted to have a name/sex determined long before birth, but it never happened. Two of our babies we knew the sex of - and those were the two we took the longest to choose a name. One wasn't named until several hours after birth. So today, with this thought (and it was momentary, I assure you. My thoughts don't last long, or they don't get completed. Trust me on that one.) in mind, I thought "Hmmm. Falkena. 5th baby. F5. Wait, that's a tornado rating. Or an earthquake. No, a tornado, I think. At any rate, is that a good nickname to give to a baby? Are we setting ourselves up for major trouble? Can it get worse than Ruby?" Thought over. No conclusions, but there you have it. F5???

P.s. Once this thought was over, I went to trusty Google and found out it's a tornado. I think I preferred earthquake. But at least I learned something today - beyond how many times of spraying/scrubbing carpet it takes to remove poop. Yes, thank you Ruby.


Happy May! It always seemed, growing up, like spring had arrived once May rolled around. Here, spring has arrived, say, the middle of March. I'll take it.

Everything is going well as far as the house goes. No big surprises; we're actually ready to close. Inspections done, appraisal's done, roof is re-shingled, financing is cleared. So cool! Close date is still May 20, but that might get moved up. Very cool. Then the work begins! Blaine has plans to bomb it with bug bombs, then gut the laundry room where the roof had been leaking, re-sheetrock it, clean the whole house (fairly certain Blaine does not plan on that one, he plans on me cleaning...) and then we can start moving stuff. We have to search for a stove right away, and a dishwasher and a freezer, eventually. So much to do!

The girls started the next grade this last week. Eden's in 1st, Liberty's in 2nd. So far, we're in that easy-peasy stage that the books begin with, covering a review of last year's material, so the girls were loving it. We'll not work too hard through the summer, but hard enough to be ahead a bit and not lose ground over the summer.

Other than that - I've got nothing. Life continues to be busy, and we are looking forward to moving - and then not moving again for a very, very long time. My pregnancy has been uneventful, although this one has me sick still, just a bit now. Blaine admitted to me that with the size of my belly, he's still thinking twins. Ultrasound's in a week and a half; then he can see for himself. It's not.