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.


Such the quandary.

The kids all piled in the tub for their weekly “before church” bath. (No worries. There’s a Tuesday morning “before co-op” shower too. Most of the time.) With the amount of dirt in the tub when all the water was out, I know one of two things. Either this last half of the week was a really fun, muddy time, or we need to have a “Thursday night just-so-we-don’t-clog-the-drain-Saturday-night bath”.

Here a goat, there a goat.


Meet Ms. Goat. She’d been named Blackie. It doesn’t seem very fitting to me, so for now, she’s Goat. Maybe we should have a “Name That Goat” contest.


And her kid, Socks. I should have zoomed out – he really does have black “socks”.

Cute, pitiful, and feisty. IMG_2747



And currently taking up residence in a dog igloo.


Goat, on the other hand, is not quite cute or pitiful, but most definitely feisty. She’s gotten over kicking me for the most part. She’ll bite me the first chance she gets when I’m milking her though. Then she quickly goes back to what she was doing, knowing she shouldn’t have. She’s like a naughty child. If you pretend it did not happen, did it?


#6… heart beating, legs kicking, and stirring things up like a true child of mine

Ultrasound yesterday. My due date… is Charlotte’s first birthday. Won’t that be fun? Happy birthday, Baby Girl, here’s a new sibling for you. Ah, the irony of it all.

No twins. He thinks. There was something else there that he couldn’t decipher, but couldn’t see a heartbeat in it so assumed it was the placenta. So reassuring.

Time for a nap. You know what they say, sleep while the baby sleeps. And the other four… quietly play together in complete harmony. I’m certain. Please pass the ear plugs.


Meet Ms. Goat. Photo shoot to follow.

Saturday, I bought a goat. Two, actually. A milking doe and her kid, old enough to be weaned but not. Milked before, but not recently. Cheap. Turns out, spending more might have been ok. My knee would say so anyway. I left them alone Saturday (after driving through the top of Springfield in a pickup with two goats in the back. Good thing this isn’t New York.) and tried milking her Sunday night. Blaine held her head and it wasn’t too bad – but the kid had been with her, so there wasn’t much to be had. We put the kid in the chicken yard last night, gave him the dog igloo that came with the property, and bright and early I headed to the barn to milk the goat. It was a beautiful thing. She kicks, squirms, tries to get away, I spray milk pretty much everywhere but the bowl. My knee into her side provided a slight amount of persuasion for her to hold still – but only slight. For a few minutes, all was going better than I expected, and then the kid bleated, and all fell apart. Set the milk aside to tighten the goat’s two inch lead to, um, negative inches, turn to get my bowl, and the cat’s drinking the milk. Seriously?! Back to milking, almost done, 45 minutes later (pretty sure this is NOT supposed to take so long!) Ms. Goat decided to bite me. She got my barn coat. Ah, yes, this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Blaine saw my, ahem, dirty bowl of milk and suggested I feed it to the kid. Oh, no. I’m finding cheesecloth and straining it. I worked far too hard for those two cups of milk. We’ll be having some sort of cream soup for supper. The kid can have the other two cups that are in the dirt.


Mathematical confusions.

“Liberty, what unit of measure do we use to measure weight?”


“Eden, if you cut something into two pieces, what is each piece called?”

“Twoths? No, tooths isn’t a word. Teeth?”

Oh boy, we’re learning now. Math provided a great deal of comic relief this morning!


Let’s mix things up, just a little. Ok, more than a little.

I’ve had two family practice doctors, two OB’s, and one certified nurse midwife (and then an OB when things didn’t go my way) for prenatal care. I’ve spent hours and hours in waiting rooms, waiting for my two minutes with my doctor. This time, it’s gonna be different.

This baby’s gonna be born at home. My home. With a midwife whom I already am beginning to love. And while I spent an hour and a half with the midwife last night, I didn’t wait for her for even a minute. She actually sat with me, in her little birth house, visiting on the bed, for an hour and a half. There wasn’t a white sheet or exam table in sight. Ah yes, it was beautiful. I haven’t been so excited about something in a really, really long time.

Such the memory.

Nine years ago today, I drove 66 miles from my job as a nanny on Long Island, got lost more than a few times, and went to a church in New Jersey for the second time. I’d been there once before, swore I wouldn’t do that and get so very lost again, and yet, two weeks later, unable to decline a sweet invite from my friend’s mother, I went again. And there, I met my friend’s brother. Oh, man. So very handsome in his three piece suit* and bright blond hair, I was done for. Seven months later, that friend became my sister-in-law, and the woman we can thank for her sweet offer of friendship and hospitality was my mother-in-law. What incredible nine years it’s been, dear Blaine. I love you.

*The three piece suit, it turns out, was the only clean thing available in the man’s closet. But I was smitten before I learned that laundry is not his thing. And now… it’s my job to clean his clothes. With pleasure.


You learn something new every day.

Decided to teach Charlotte to nap in her bed instead of in the swing. Turns out, it's all my fault we've gone through more batteries than I can count. She went right to sleep - and is still sleeping an hour later. Day three of napping in her bed. That was easier than I thought it was going to be!

Next up: folding eight loads of clothes and putting them away. Because I need my laundry baskets before I can wash a few more loads. I don’t suppose anyone has any ideas that will make this easier too?


One brain cell at a time.

Why is it that when a child leaves the step stool in front of the bathroom sink (and this is all together common around here) I will just stand on the stool to wash my hands or brush my teeth? As I was brushing my teeth, elevated another foot in the air, bending in half to spit, it suddenly dawned on me what I was doing. I’m pretty sure it would be easier to move the stool than to bend over like I’m 6.5 feet tall, but there I stood, folded in half to make it work. Hmm.


Baby’s got a new hat. Time to go to town.

See that button over on the side for 4Sisters4Freedom? That would be my husband’s nieces, four girls crocheting for a cause. They are selling their handiwork to raise money to fight slavery. I ordered this hat for Charlotte. The bow is one we made – I love that I can switch this out to match her outfits. Or her pj’s. Because it’s that kind of day.


See? Baby likes her hat. Or maybe she just likes her sisters, since this is the face I got before recruiting girls to be silly to get her reaction:IMG_2734

Either way works, I suppose. Cute hat, Charlie-girl.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

Tomorrow is our co-op Valentine’s day party for all of the kids. The girls did cards, but that seemed silly for Sterling and Ruby’s class. I can only assume there aren’t very many child prodigies in there that can read, and since Sterling can spell but not write his name and Ruby thinks her name is spelled “Syt”, I decided not to go there. So I’m making paper boxes to put candy and a trinket in for each of their classmates. Oh yes, this is so much better than filling in the “from” and “to” sections in a dozen Valentine’s. While I’ve certainly amazed Sterling with my abilities to turn a couple pieces of cardstock into a lidded box, (thank you, Google search) I’m starting to think I didn’t make such a wise choice in all of this. I didn’t have anything better to do with my afternoon, I suppose.

Sometimes, you just have to improvise.

Charlotte’s been drinking a bit of goat’s milk lately. Momma’s body doesn’t do so good at supporting three, unfortunately. So when Charlotte woke up as I was making bread the other day, she nursed while I measured out salt and flour. But when she was finished – and yet not – out came the bottle. Except forming loaves with a baby and bottle in hand isn’t something I’m quite coordinated enough for. All the kids were outside sledding, and I had to do a bit of improvising…


…turns out, hotpads work well enough for a momentary prop – just until I could get the dough off my hands.IMG_2733


Oh, baby baby.

Before fall, our family will increase in size once again. The kids, at that point, will be 8, 6, 4, almost or actually 3, and 11 months. And a newborn. It was starting to get a little dull around here, I suppose. Bring it on. We’re going to have a set of Irish twins around this little house.


Sweet 6 year old.


Eden Rayne turned six this past Tuesday. For her birthday, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed – like Missouri rarely sees. So much, Sterling asked why it was still snowing, since the grass was covered. He was amused to find out that the snow does not know when the grass is covered, it just comes down until it’s done.

Eden, though, enjoyed a day off of school and went sledding instead. Of course, she didn’t get a sled for her birthday. She got rollerblades.


Rollerblades that she wore in the house for most of the day. The foot of snow on the concrete patio prevented her from really trying them out. But after a brief reminder that since her birthday and Christmas both fall in the winter months, and if she wanted such a thing now was the time, she agreed readily. And now, the rollerblades sit in her bedroom, waiting for the snow to melt so she can really try them out. Happy birthday, Eden. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them – later.


Happy birthday, baby girl and other short stories.

So… Blaine’s home. I mentioned that. I have a cold. Mentioned that too. It has me pretty wiped out. Coughing all night isn’t real restful in and of itself, and it wakes up a baby. A lot. And if anyone knows why I talk in my sleep when I have a cold, I’d love to know. There has to be some scientific explanation. Either that or I’m going crazy – which if I weren’t, the talking in my sleep and waking myself up because of it will drive me to crazy. Turns out Blaine, also suffering from same said cold, talks in his sleep too. That’s somewhat normal for him… but not this much. What does that mean?

Sterling brought me a one-dollar bill yesterday and asked me if that was Uncle Troy on it. Umm, no. That’s George Washington. Close, but not quite.

Liberty was doing a report on Harriet Tubman and Eden asked if Harriet Tubman was alive when Moses was alive. I told her no, Moses was a long, long time ago, but Harriet Tubman wasn’t that long ago – but still a long time, I suppose. Eden replied, “Oh, so in the 1980’s?” I informed her I was born in the 1980’s… and her mind went, “Wow! She’s old! Almost as old as Harriet Tubman!” Just for the record, Harriet Tubman was born in the 1820’s.

Eden turned six yesterday. It was a blizzard like Springfield rarely sees (and South Dakota calls just another day) and public school was cancelled. I briefly thought we’d do school anyhow, but quickly came to my senses. I took a nap instead.