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.


Quotes by Sterling and other news.

“Don’t ever throw Cheerios on the floor again, Charlotte. I don’t like picking them up.”

“Your sun tea is spicy, Momma, try it!” “Dude, you just spit in it. I don’t want any!”

“Sunburns don’t hurt, Momma. I don’t need sunscreen.” (Spoken by the dear son who once blistered his shoulder when I missed a spot. He would have disagreed with himself if that was still in his memory, I assure you.)

“Mom, I’m getting you wet on your arm.” “Don’t spit on me, Sterling.”

“Why is fire hot?” “Why do plants need water?” “Why did Daddy plant beans?” “Why are we going to the pool?” “Why does Charlie’s toy squeak when you push the nose?” (Continue for another 200 “why’s”. Per hour.)

“How old were you when you got married, Momma?” “18.” “How old was Daddy when he got married?” “25".” “He was bigger than you then too, Momma!” Sure thing.

“Good thing we watered the goats this morning, Momma! It’s hot today!” Yep, 98 and counting sounds hot to me. It’s only 90 in the house though, does that count? Thus, the pool…

Sterling learned to care for his own hygiene in the bathroom last week. This week, he’s trying to convince Ruby he can wipe her bottom too. She’s not convinced. Neither am I.

Not impressed with my SPF 30 water-resistant sunscreen. Sterling and Ruby, my two most active in the water, seem to have escaped the sunburn. Charlotte and I, not so much. We were in the shade most of the time. Really, I don’t know what to think on that one. Baby, I am so sorry. I turned that skin white with sunscreen just like everyone else. Grr.

My girls are coming home! Two days, can’t wait…


Well, then.

We switched cell phone providers a month and a half ago. My new cell phone drops calls constantly. The rest of the time people cannot hear me for the awful reception. Often I cannot dial out. I called to complain and they are sending me a new phone to see if that fixes the problem. Perfect.

Two hours later, an automated call asked me to push one if I was satisfied with their customer service, two if I was not. The reception was so fuzzy it wouldn’t recognize my selection. After three tries, I gave up and hung up. Fitting.

Don’t put all the eggs into one bucket…

…if Ruby’s carrying them to the house. “I won’t run, Momma. Can I carry the eggs?” We’ve been through this before. Running to the house with a bucket full of eggs makes for pre-scrambled eggs: dirty-style.

So I let her carry the eggs into the house from the chicken coop this morning.

One egg survived the trip.

But… she didn’t run.

Those clock hands are just so confusing. But I know what you mean anyway.

“Mom. Mom. Mom. Ruby’s asleep, and Charlotte’s asleep and you’re asleep and I don’t want to sleep, So what can I do? Sorry for waking you up though. You can take another nap after you tell me what I can do if you want to.”

“Thank you, Sterling. How about coloring a picture?”

“Or you could get me lunch.”

“What time is it?”

“Umm… maybe it’s 6 o’clock, or maybe it’s two o’clock.”

“One-thirty. Perfect. How about lunch?”

Ruby’s covered in bug bites. Sleep has been sporadic around here these last few nights. Thus the naps before lunchtime. But this was by far the best conversation I had all day.


I like your perspective.

Back when I was single (in my teens, mind you) I had this perfect ideal for who my husband would be, I didn’t pick thin. Nope, I wanted one bigger than me – by a lot. I did not have any desire to rival my husband for size – or worse yet, beat him hands down. But personality and values and beliefs trumped size – thankfully – and I married a man who barely outweighed me. And then I got pregnant. Six times. He didn’t leave me a whole lot of growing room before the inevitable happened. But Sterling informed me yesterday (after he asked how much I weighed and I told him that he must never, never ask a lady that question. And then I had to explain what a lady was.) that Daddy weighs lots more than me, because he’s bigger. I agreed – that must certainly be true. Blaine walked in right then, caught the gist of the conversation, and agreed Sterling was most certainly right. Wise man.

Have I ever mentioned I was going to marry a redhead? That didn’t work out so well either. I’d planned for a bunch of redheaded babies. But these blond ones are awfully cute. Turns out, God had different plans than I did – better ones for sure. I’m so glad. So thankful for my blond, thin husband. So thankful.


Happy Birthday, Liberty Skye.

Liberty's Birthday 002

Photo compliments of my parents. She’s celebrating her birthday in South Dakota!

Liberty is 8 years old. Happy birthday, Baby Girl. I love you.


Sewing machine: 6. Me: 0.

So the skirts flopped. I’m blaming it on my machine’s bobbin tension with the elastic thread. Mom’s bringing her machine down next week; we’ll try it again. Then we’ll all know: is it the machine, or is it me??? Shirring has gotten the better of me every time I’ve tried on my machine. 6 projects later. Makes me crabby.

Next up: Magenta diaper covers. Ruby was PENNDOT Ruby with her neon orange covers; Charlotte is going to be well camouflaged - in the raspberry patch. I just can’t leave well enough alone and go with pastels. Got the PUL in the mail today. Trying to get the house cleaned up so I can go sew. That’s why I’m sitting here, you know. Oh, that makes such sense.

Blaine’s on his way home. After yesterday and the skirts and the kids whining because I was paying more attention to the sewing machine than them… it’s a good thing it’s Friday and this week is almost over.

Poison ivy got the better of me last week and it’s still spouting about it’s victory. Ruby’s taken to grabbing the anti itch cream and smearing it on my legs when she sees me itch. So funny. Yet not.

Time to mop. There’s calamine lotion spilled on the floor. Wonder where on earth that came from?


My scrambled frame of mind right about now.

Blaine is traveling for work for a few days. Liberty and Eden are in South Dakota. Boy, does life feel strange right about now. It took three days to get enough dishes to fill the dishwasher. I’ve done 5 loads of laundry since Monday. Usually I’d be on #10 at least by now. Two of those loads were peed-on sheets from Charlotte wearing a paper diaper to bed when I know better. So we’re theoretically 3 loads in. So strange.

Sterling and Ruby are taking naps in my bed. Judging from the giggling going on, they are both having some very funny dreams. Or something else is going on in there besides sleep.

Blaine’s birthday was Tuesday. Sterling wanted to get him bubble gum. I said Daddy doesn’t like gum. He wanted to get him a wheelbarrow. I told him Daddy already has one. Sterling decided we should just get gum and a wheelbarrow for himself instead.

Liberty’s birthday is Sunday. She’ll be 8 and be celebrating in South Dakota. I’ve had the hardest time figuring out what to get her – for her late birthday party when she gets home. Growing up, not big enough for makeup, too big for toys. I’m still wondering how you parent an eight year old. Two is so much easier.

IMG_2823 cropped

Eden asked if she could get another hole in her ears when she gets home. She looked indignant when I said no. Sterling told me he didn’t want me to have my nose pierced. I’d been debating taking it out anyway. Did that a week ago. He hasn’t noticed yet. I guess it was really bugging him. Blaine noticed after 5 days. Must have been bugging him too. Charlotte got her ears pierced this week. She noticed the moment they did it. Blaine noticed as soon as he saw her. Ruby’s excited that she and Charlie “match”. They gave Charlotte a sucker afterwards. This is the third time someone has given my 8, and before 7, month old a sucker. Starting to wonder if she looks two to everyone else or if I’m one of the few that wouldn’t give candy to a baby who still eats the majority of her calories in liquid form. She really liked the sucker. Still trying to get her white shirt white again.

I’m making this this afternoon. You know, while Sterling and Ruby talk in their sleep. I’ll let you know how that goes!

To whichever child did the little science experiment in Daddy’s boot:

To whichever child did the little science experiment in Daddy’s boot:

Putting your sister’s spit-upon outfit inside your father’s boot was a successful science experiment, I suppose. The mold growth was impressive for less than a week. But for future reference, clothing isn’t an appropriate test subject. Goat’s milk molds quickly. And doing that to your pregnant mother was not funny.





Dearest Blaine,

I’m not sure what to say besides “ewww”. Gross. I do not know how to scrub your boot out. I’m sorry.



Go away, Mr. Salesman.

Two traveling salesman knocked on my door Tuesday afternoon. It was in the 23 minutes I had to unload the groceries, change the baby’s diaper and all three kid’s clothes, plus my own, and head to town to meet Blaine for his birthday supper out. They told me they needed five. I said I didn’t have five extra minutes. I needed to get things done. They said they were selling extracurricular school books to enhance my child’s public school education. I said I homeschool. They said they sell a lot of their CD’s to homeschoolers, since the mothers often like to plunk their kids down in front of the computer to have that be the teacher. I told them I am the teacher. No computer needed. They said they have lots of informational books. I said I have books. Lots of them. Books I researched thoroughly before I bought them and set in front of my children to influence them and their worldview. They thought I needed more. They wouldn’t leave. And then, I said the magic words. “My school book budget for the year is spent. I have bought all I need; all I can afford.” Ha! They asked to use the bathroom and left. I had two minutes to put away the groceries. Sterling wore dirty clothes to supper.

Next time, I’m going to put groceries away and leave them on the front porch to give their spiel to the dog. Brady seemed to like them well enough. And her book budget for the year is spent too, I’m sure.


It sure is quiet around here.

My two oldest girls left for Grandpa and Grandma’s today. They’ll be gone for two weeks. It’s eerily quiet around here. Some things are easier, so things are harder. So strange.

They rode north with a friend’s mom and another friend who live three hours from my parents. After a week of sick kids and fearing Liberty or Eden would catch it, I was relieved to hit Friday night with no one else sick. I woke up Liberty up this morning and she started crying. Her throat hurt. By the time we left, she said her stomach hurt a little. I hoped it was nerves, gave her the option and went ahead with her desire to go. What do you do? It felt like a life-changing moment; she’d never forget having to stay home from her first planned vacation at grandparents away from Blaine and I. When I didn’t hear anything by lunch time, I decided it must have just been nerves like I suspected. Nope. No vomit, thankfully, but I’m told she’s a little warm and slept most of the trip. Safely in the hands of Grandma now, she’ll be fine, but what would you have done? What it  she gets her “transporters” sick? They do not write manuals for such occasions.

Sterling and Ruby become so different when their sisters aren’t home. They were eating when I went up to do goat chores. I gave them instructions to finish eating, brush teeth and head for bed. When I got back inside half an hour later, they were in bed! Tucked in! Amazing. And then I went and cleaned up their mess at the table. Because no one thought to clear the table.

Missing my girls. My helpers, my friends. I forgot how it is to parent just toddlers. Sterling and Ruby have asked half a dozen times if they’ll be home tomorrow. It’s going to be a long two weeks!

What a Saturday.

This puts a whole new spin on “ran out of gas”.


Charlotte really, really likes watermelon.


Really. It’s a good thing it’s bath night.


The wrong end makes a good teether.


Happy baby. So sticky. So worth it.



Itchy eww.

We’re alive. I’m reserving comment on the well part. Ruby’s kept two meals down since Monday afternoon but breakfast hasn’t revisited, so maybe three… Sterling’s had a fever that seems to have gone away and I finally gave in, decided to call the doctor first thing this morning and now everyone is acting normal. That usually happens after I rip out the check to pay our co-pay…

Bugs, bugs – they are bugging me. How on earth do you avoid the 200 bug bites – no exaggeration, I assure you – that plague me at the moment? I cannot spray bug spray every single day on every one – can I? But between goat chores and watering the garden, we’re going to have to invest in anti-itch cream – and quite possibly, something to treat insanity. I’m going crazy. I think I have more than the kids, but not by much. This is a pretty itchy household right about now.

Sterling has been walking around saying itchy and then rhyming it with any other word he can think of or make up. Last week in the grocery store, it was “Itchy pitchy sitchy b…, w…” – all of which I’d heard before and ignored. You know, ignore it and they’ll stop and forget all about it? But when the little old lady behind you in the checkout gives you a look… yeah, I had to address it. “Don’t say those last two. They aren’t nice words.” I braced myself for the “What do they mean?” question that was inevitable. It didn’t come. “Can I say twitchy?” “Yep. Perfect. Itchy twitchy will be just fine.” And off he went. “Itchy twitchy itchy twitchy.”

On that note, I’m going to go find a Brillo pad. If you scratch the bite off entirely, can it still itch? Pain would be preferable at this point, pretty sure.


Fun, such fun.

Many weeks ago, we all were sick – except Sterling. We seem to be revisiting those germs. It all started last night, when, amazingly enough, we were driving home in separate vehicles and I had the one without kids. But I heard about it when we all got home. Apparently Liberty recognized Ruby’s traditional pre-puke cough in the van, and they got out in time. Whew. I just washed that car seat. Since Ruby’s a car-sick queen, we didn’t think much of it. But when she lost her breakfast this morning, things were looking suspicious. And now, I’ve got it. Eww. So much for today’s List.

Sterling got his K4 books in the mail yesterday. He’s thrilled and I’m schooling from the couch, trying to capture his enthusiasm. I’m amazed to learn the boy can trace lines with amazing accuracy and stay in the lines. quite well. I got out the tote of coloring books in hopes of keeping the kids entertained for my nap. Entertained, yes. Eager to show Momma what they did? Again, yes. So much for that nap.


Our barnyard. Minus the chickens.

They just look like chickens. Didn’t figure you wanted to see them.


Meet Cream. Or Creamy. Or Creamer. Yet to be determined. 3 week old doeling Alpine/Saanen. Slightly skittish but oh so cute.


And Coffee. Cream/y/er’s  twin sister. Tamer, cuter and funnier than her twin – and already the favorite in the barn.


Munch, the LaMancha buckling. No ears is a LaMancha trait. Slightly funny looking, oh so friendly, likes to eat your clothes. He’ll be one month old tomorrow.


They like to hang out on my milking stand. The doelings have been with their momma up until this morning – and now, they lay next to each other with wire in between. The least stressful separation from momma and baby ever, from the looks of things.


Snow. Or Lady Mary Snow White, officially. Coffee and Cream/y/er’s momma – sweeter than any of my other does, and mocking the camera with her tongue, it seems.


Blackie and Roany – my first and second milking does. Blackie’s into retirement from the milking stand. Anybody want a dry goat?

Roany’s milking well for me and being her typical pain in the behind self.


And their no-longer-buck-lings. In other words, wethers. Or supper, one day soon.


That’s what’s in our barn these days. The three babies are all on bottles and the kids – my children, that is – are in love with them. Fun stuff!


The List.

I’m 24 weeks. I look 42 weeks. Maybe by the time I’m 42 weeks I’ll look 24 weeks. Or maybe I won’t hit 42 weeks. Either would be ok. So long as I don’t look 42 weeks at a week or so postpartum. Now that would be depressing.

I bought K4 curriculum for Sterling today. He’s thrilled. His dream is to read a book all by himself. Next up: the world.

I’ve started making lists. I bought a white board that has a new home on our kitchen counter and every night, provided I’m on top of things, I make a list of the things we need to accomplish the next day. Jobs, appointments, whatever I want to accomplish, gets written on the list for the day. Things I usually forget I wanted to do are finally getting done. If they don’t get done, they get moved to the next day. And the next. The watermelon? Cut before it was overripe, because it made The List. Charlotte’s sheets put back on her bed? That got moved to the next day’s List. A few times. But now? She has clean sheets. And I don’t have to move it to tomorrow’s List. Again. Amazing.

We have a few new barnyard animals. Four, to be exact. I’ll get my camera out there and share the details soon. As soon as it makes it to my List. Wouldn’t want to get ahead of myself, you know.


High-class entertainment. Country style.






Baby Girl, how you’ve grown.

IMG_9113Charlotte Serenity – she's

8 months old now.IMG_9115IMG_9123She loves her siblings…IMG_9140

and toys. She really loves toys. A lot.IMG_9155IMG_9153

Beautiful baby girl – full of personality. Determination. And spunk. Loads of spunk.

Birthday documentary.