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.


Well, then. The timing of that could definitely have been worse.

Monday, I got my van inspected and relicensed for another year. Friday, I went to take the kids to the zoo and my van won’t start.

Bummer. Who knows what that means. (Hopefully dear husband Blaine does... and it’s not expensive.) But really, the timing of this is interesting at best. We weren’t headed anywhere terribly important. And we aren’t down to the wire, inspection due, van not starting.

I’ll count my blessings. The kids really enjoyed their picnic on our front sidewalk. The promise of a walk this afternoon alleviated the disappointment of the loss of an afternoon with friends at the zoo. Breaking down on the side of the interstate (Driving older vehicles… it’s not happened yet, but it’s bound to.) with six kids in the car is on my list of what constitutes as a very bad day. The driveway was a very good place to be when breaking down occurs.

But that code that my Service Engine Soon light is flashing -if it knows what’s wrong, it could just self correct as well. Wouldn’t that be great? Yeah, I know. Wishful thinking.


We’ve fallen apart.

After a new baby is born around here, for a little while, everyone is enamored with the baby and jealousy waits. And then, it all falls apart for a little while.

We’ve fallen apart.

Charlotte doesn’t want Momma to hold the baby, Ruby’s the most obstinate three year old I’ve met, and tears abound from the older three. Life’s so interesting right now. You just never know if there’s going to be a meltdown when you say it’s time for supper, or if a shirt won’t stay tucked in, chores need to be done, or if it’s time to change a diaper. Or, or, or…

Hold on. It’s a bumpy ride and Momma’s low on sleep. Aren’t you glad you don’t live in this house right now?

So glad that’s over!

Yesterday, I went to the DMV. And it was fastest, easiest stop of my day. How backward is that? After a dentist appointment for four kids and waiting in the waiting room with the two babies for two hours, going to get the van inspected, only to find out the inspector went to lunch, going back at the appropriate time and finding out he still wasn’t back from lunch, then finally waiting for the inspection… it was a very long day. I’m not sure if it’s really the sheer number of us or the blond hair/blue eyes the majority of my children sport, but next time we head to the store, I’m counting the comments. We were a good 3 dozen or more in yesterday. I got called crazy, a saint, and numerous other (mostly pleasant) comments in our ventures. Even Ruby finally asked why everyone kept talking to us. I’ve (quite briefly) considered sewing Amish cape dresses for the girls and I and putting the boys in pants with suspenders… everyone seems to leave them alone. But when I show up for vehicle inspection and then the DMV, my disguise might be blown…

Ah, the DMV. While our DMV does not have the one in western SD beat for courtesy and efficiency, it was a close second. We were in (with all the necessary papers – first try!) and out with stickers for another year in hand in about 5 minutes. After I had to answer the “Are they all yours?” question and give names and ages. Followed by an insanity test to be sure I really should be driving… it was inconclusive. Winking smile


Pierce: 3 weeks.

The littlest man around here


is three weeks old today.


(And drooling milk on his vest.)


He’s a super focused sleeper,


not so sure he likes his picture taken (or maybe it’s just my flash),


and his pre-sneeze face could have so many different funny captions.


Baby’s growing.



Life around here is starting to settle into a new normal. Sleep is more plentiful than it has been with most of my others as newborns – something I’m so thankful for. I’d forgotten how hard it is to get anything done with a newborn – and how often I am forced to sit down and feed the baby. My very clean house from my endeavors during pregnancy is slowly falling apart – or not so slowly. Laundry is full steam ahead at a whopping 17 loads so far this week – but it’s caught up. Diapers account for three of those loads, and my checking account is thankful that those diapers we went through were cloth and didn’t require immediate replacement. Wow. I haven’t had two in diapers at the same time since Sterling and Ruby.

Charlotte loves Pierce, but she’s vigorous in her affection. She tried to eat his ear yesterday. I caught her before she chomped down with her 8-plus-an-emerging-molar teeth. He wouldn’t have appreciated her affection right then, I’m thinking. She’s been in the shower more mornings this week than not and seems to be thoroughly enjoying her “momma time” without any others around – unless Pierce sleeping on the bathroom rug counts. It’s the only way I’m getting a shower these days.

Sterling is in love. He’s plotting and planning for the things he’ll teach Pierce – and the ages he’ll need to be when each thing can be taught. The latest plan: teaching Pierce to pee outside, as soon as he can walk. Oh, joy. It’s a good thing we live in the country.

Charlotte is crawling well these days and cruising along furniture. It’ll be a great day when she learns to walk. Carrying two babies wears me out.

Pierce does not like sudden loud noises. He didn’t when I was pregnant with him either. He jumps and startles and more often than not, he cries. There are a lot of sudden loud noises in this house. You would think he’d had something/someone land on him from his reaction – but I’m quite certain nothing (yet) has flown in his direction to invoke such a reaction. It’s a preemptive reaction, knowing what life is like around here, I’m thinking.

Ruby thinks she’s the only one who can hear Pierce crying. I get a frantic “Momma! The new baby is crying!” anytime he fusses. She loves him. She cannot, however, remember than the “new baby” has a known gender and name these days.

We are done with meals from friends in church, I think. Two weeks off from cooking was wonderful – and it limited grocery shopping needs as well. It was almost fun to get back to planning/cooking after the break. Our church blessed us so much in that way. Now, to start writing thank-you cards…


Errr… was that a compliment?

“Your belly looks squished, Momma.”

“Is it so much smaller?”

“Yep. Lots.”

I think Sterling was trying to compliment my recent rapid weight loss. I’m taking it as such, anyhow.

Potatoes for lunch–or peels?

I set my bigger girls to peeling 20 potatoes for a dish for potluck tomorrow. Half an hour later, one dear daughter asked the question of the day.

“Momma, do you need the peelings, or the potatoes?”

Maybe I need to have them peel potatoes more often. Around here, skin stays on more often than not. Maybe that’s it. Just when I think we’re getting somewhere in this ‘How to Run a Household’ instruction, a doozy like that comes out.

Yesterday, I washed the sheets on my bed. It had been far, far too long. Today, I’m washing our sheets again.
Not cool, Pierce. Not cool. You could have at least waited a week to do that.

*Edited. For those grammar geeks...


Pierce: 12 days old.

Just in case anyone was wondering, Ruby has gotten over the arrival of Pierce instead of Quincy.


She’s just going to dress up Pierce instead.


He’s slightly skeptical though.


Really, can you blame him?

F for failure.

I took all of the kids to the grocery store by myself yesterday. We went to a small-town small store. How hard could this be?

Setting myself up for failure, I know.

Right about the time I thought I was doing all right, I heard a voice. Loud and getting louder, Ruby was in a panic. Two aisles over. Perfect. I’d lost a kid and didn’t even know she was missing.

I thought maybe it would cure her of her new habit of wandering off. It didn’t. But at least it cured me of not watching her every second. We didn’t get very many groceries after that.


The joys of the English language. So confusing.

My kids love playing with old gift cards, etc. Sterling has a Subway card – and fond memories of the pepperoni sandwich he ate, purchased with said card. He brought it to me yesterday and asked if we could use it again and go to Subway. I told him we could not; there wasn’t any money on it anymore.

Today he brought me the Subway card. His thumb was holding a penny on the top of it. “Now can we go to Subway? There’s money on the card now.”

Oh, my dear, literal boy.


Lumpy cereal: apology necessary or intentional mis-cooking?

As I’m apologizing to my children for this morning’s lumpy cream of wheat after trying to make it while nursing Pierce and finding the inability to stir and pour at the same time produced some massive lumps, I was met with a strange chorus.

They love the lumps.

Well, then. I did that on purpose, children. Enjoy.


It’s the Baby Bug.

We went to the farm show today. An older gentleman and younger gentleman stood looking at me for several seconds. Pierce was in the sling, I was pushing a stroller with three kids in it, and two more were walking beside it. Blaine had headed off to look at a tool booth.

“Look at that.” – Older gentleman

“Wow. Okay, it’s time to go.” – Younger gentleman

The older gentleman turned to me. “He’s afraid it’s contagious.”


6 days old.



Being a baby


in a busy house


is a lot of work.



Where I come from…

Ruby was waiting for her lunch, playing with her fork.

“Just don’t comb your hair with your fork after you put it in your food,” I told her.

Blaine started laughing. “What some people would assume was a given…”

“Nothing can be assumed with Ruby,” I said.

“The funny part of that statement is that you didn’t tell her not to comb her hair with her fork. Just not to comb her hair with her fork after it was dirty. We’re so civilized.”



Pierce Allan

This little guy:
made this little girl:
IMG_2890 a big sister.
And this big brother:
is the happiest brother in the world.

Introducing Pierce Allan. 9lbs, 0 oz., 22 1/4 inches long, born October 1st, just before 7pm. He beat the midwife here, Daddy caught him, and it was perfect – and perfectly unbelievable. Birth story to follow, posted up with the others on the top right, as soon as I digest it all.

P.s. The older girls are thrilled too. But Ruby’s slightly peeved – but only slightly - she thinks she doesn’t have enough female playmates. Silliness.