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.


Today’s numbers:

Ruby weighed 30 lbs.

Charlotte weighed 21 lbs.

Pierce weighed 14 lbs. 12 oz.

My back disagrees. Charlie and Pierce weigh at least 20 lbs. more. Each.


We’ve talked about my girls’ penchant for getting sick in the car before. Here. And here. And here. It is, unfortunately, one well-discussed topic. Thank you, Charlie, for bringing back what was becoming a distant memory. Ruby’s getting better at asking for a window to be opened, Eden’s good, and we haven’t had a mess in the car in a good six months.

No longer. Twice this week, three days apart, Charlie’s been dead on with her aim for her car seat. I’m getting good at taking it apart and putting it back together. Gingerly, so as to avoid the cream of wheat.

Cream of wheat makes one very big mess.

I’m getting better at packing an extra outfit for her.

Out of all the things they could have picked for genetics compliments of Blaine, this was not my first choice.


Just once, I’d like to have everything crossed off my to-do list.

Before breakfast, I bathed three babies, given two hair cuts, stripped two beds, cleaned up one major diaper blow out, cursed paper diapers for their inability to contain such messes, washed two loads of laundry and swept four floors.

Now, to add to my list, it is nearly 3 pm and I’ve washed five loads of laundry and researched hard water and diaper rashes so that I can go back to my beloved cloth diapers that contain the above mentioned blow outs. I’ve washed three antique cream cans and dreamed of where to put them, nursed a baby (I don’t know how many times), filled a woodstove, planned supper (but not made it), put (clean) couch covers back on the couch, folded two of the five laundry loads, and sent five kids out the door to enjoy the day.

Whew. I feel better now. Some days, when it feels like I’m spinning my wheels and not accomplishing what I’d like to, writing down what I have done makes it (somewhat) better. I’d planned to just take one day of school off for Christmas. But vacation right now sounds like a much better plan.

I’d planned to sew today. My machine is still packed away. But the laundry room floor is emerging once again. The Christmas tree is in the goat pen and quickly disappearing, Christmas gifts have homes and inviting a friend in to sit and visit is no longer a gross proposition. (See clean couch mention above.) Next up: swapping out Pierce’s clothes for the 6-9 month size. Baby’s a moose.


Merry Christmas!

The girls have had a great time lately putting music on, tutu’s on, and dancing their little legs away. They put a CD in the DVD player today, tried to turn the TV on, and the universal remote wouldn’t work. Several tries to reprogram it later, Liberty asked if maybe the TV was tired from being on yesterday. That must be it. We got it to work.

Grandma left today. Man, was it nice to have her here. An extra pair of arms that Charlotte loves made church so much easier. Blaine’s an elder in our church and often called away from us for various reasons – no help with the kids is often the norm for me. Charlotte won’t go to strangers willingly (or quietly) and neither will Pierce. Cooking, cleaning… help was awesome! We had so much fun together. At least I had fun!

Favorite gifts in our house:

Ruby loves her bubble gum and tulle skirt.

Sterling loves the remote control helicopter best.

Eden loves the embroidery paraphernalia (and promise of lessons).

Liberty loved her nail kit (clippers, fingernail file, etc.) best.

Play Doh and a zoo pass were also big hits. It’s amazing to me how the simplest gifts are their favorites – except for the helicopter. Sterling is convinced he’ll be a helicopter pilot when he grows up and Grandpa had fun encouraging the dream. Smile 

Jotham’s Journey, Tabitha’s Travels, and Bartholomew’s Passage are our favorite advent books. Highly recommended!

Merry Christmas!


My week in review.

The other day, I sighed at finding yet another mess made by the very mobile Charlotte. Liberty and Eden both stopped and stared at me.

“That’s the noise you made when you were having Pierce,” Liberty said.

“That’s what I was thinking!” Eden agreed.

Perfect. Just what I wanted them to remember. I really would love to have grandkids someday!

I teach manners class for the 2, 3, and 4 year olds at our homeschool co-op. When I was going through the lesson on please and thank you, the lesson referred to them as magic words. I asked the 4 year old class if they knew any magic words, and I got more than I bargained for. One little boy, in a conspiratorial tone, whispered, “Disappear.”

Yes, I guess that would be magic!

We went ice skating with Blaine’s department at work for his Christmas party. The kids had never been. Liberty was all over the ice, Eden fell in the first few minutes and gave herself a black eye and broke her glasses, (Yes, we bought the insurance on them!) then recovered and had a blast. Sterling held my or Blaine’s hand with a death grip but loved it, and Ruby was Ruby. She tore up that skating rink with the best of them. No fear, lots of tumbles, but she informed me it didn’t matter. Since the back of her jeans were slightly frayed at the bottom, she told me they are working jeans and she didn’t care if they got dirty and wet on the ice. Charlotte wanted desperately to have her chance on the ice… but I thought walking would be a good accomplishment to master before we stuck metal blades on her pudgy feet. Having spent many, many hours on the frozen slough at my grandparents’ as a kid, it was a lot of fun to skate again! Turns out, it is rather like riding a bike. You don’t forget. But you may pay for it, as your muscles do forget…

We started Christmas vacation from school this week. Ah, the reprieve is wonderful. Last night I was up until midnight working on my sewing machine, making gifts. Fun stuff. Ruby and Charlotte will have doll slings matching the one I use for Pierce, and Charlotte has a doll blanket and a flannel pillow with her name embroidered on it. Still brainstorming what else I can make.


Baby baby!

Charlotte and Pierce 3

Each of our kids, around 6 weeks old or so, have a photo shoot with Daddy. This time, there were two babies. So sweet.

Pierce: 9 6/7 weeks

Tiny little man
(with more than one chin)
tolerated his very first haircut today.
And then
he took a nap.


Baby hairs…

Frizzy baby hair, complete with bald spots, drives me crazy. Four girls later, I’ve smoothed and sprayed and tolerated – and gone with a hat.

Sterling got a buzz cut when he was 2 weeks old. I finally did not have to leave it alone, let it grow, wait for it to fill in.

Pierce is 9 weeks old. Still, he has his fly-aways. He has a bald spot. The back curls over his collar.

Why can’t I bring myself to cut it?

Next post: Pierce’s haircut. Just as soon as I get the nerve.


Deep thoughts. Confused, but deep.

Ruby asked this morning if the thief on the cross next to Jesus that loved Him went to South Dakota.

Grandpa and Grandma’s ranks right up there with Heaven in Ruby’s world, I guess.


One big day.

This little man


had a big day.



This little girl



decided she needed a bit limelight on herself


and took some very calculated first steps today.


Fun day!



I so knew better.

Tomorrow we’re having a Christmas Ladies Tea at church. I’m “hosting” a table and am responsible for setting the table I host. It’s been a fun reason to dig out the silver tea set and china Blaine bought me from his grandmother’s estate when we were first married. We’ve been shining silver and washing china all morning.

I also need a table cloth. Having not used one for several years, (Since kids got old enough to make a giant mess. So not worth it.) I had to dig a bit to find one. I found a lovely red one, threw it in the laundry with my white napkins and a few clothes that are rotating through every load, trying to get stains out, told Eden to never wash whites with reds, and proceeded to do it anyway.

Shouldn’t have. My pink napkins are now soaking in bleach, hoping they return to their previous color. Sterling is very not impressed with his pink shirt and Ruby asked that her newly pinked shirt remain out of the bleach. She likes it pink. My white ring sling that I threw in there so I wouldn’t have to put Pierce in my pink one anymore? So much for that idea. Now I have two pink slings.

I so knew better.

P.s. Shout’s color catcher sheets that they sent me to sample? I haven’t found it yet, but I’m sure it’s pink too. Not impressed with it’s catching capabilities though. Or maybe I just overkilled with it. Either way – not impressed. I also poured vinegar in the load. I’d heard that keeps colors from running. I beg to differ. It did no such thing.

Conversations with Sterling

“Mom, Pierce isn’t really asleep.”

“He sure looks like he’s sleeping.”

“Nope. He’s just faking it.”

Really. I didn’t know.


Christmas tree, Charlie Brown style.

Last year, I wrote this post about our back pasture Christmas tree. (Click on "This Post".)

Yesterday, we headed up the hill to see if we could find another one. Turns out, the trees grew substantially this year. It’s still very Charlie Brown, but this year’s tree is quite a bit fuller than last year.
We had Blaine along this year, and last year it was Charlotte in the sling. Pierce took her place in the sling this year. Charlotte was pretty happy to have her Daddy. We even found an antler in the grass up there.
Blaine had grander ideas of what “chopping” means. My handsaw and I were out of business.
The top is too soft to hold up the star, and the ornaments hang more from the lights than the branches, but oh, we had fun. And this one, unlike last year, does not smell like a cat used it as a litter box. Merry Christmas!


Caution: Flying socks (and other dirty laundry). Literally.

We bought an old farmhouse. It continues to surprise us.*

Turns out, the laundry room floor, when removed, sits up 8 inches off a slab foundation. Long story short (and eliminating a few ((wet)) details) the floor is now removed and it’s back to the slab.

An 8 inch step-down from my kitchen into the laundry room now exists. Perfect.

Now, if I could just remember that when I’m carrying a basket of laundry. I’m going to pad the far wall pretty soon. At least then I’d have a softer landing.


*Let me (try to) keep my optimism, please.

A few more adjectives, if you please.

About two months ago, Blaine picked up a new broom for me to use in the house. With all hard floors, brooms see a lot of use – and abuse – around here. Today, that broom has more bristles pointing anywhere but down. Unimpressed, I ordered a new broom. I went for Rubbermaid, since I’ve had good success with their other products. When I couldn’t find one in the stores, I ordered one online. It was labeled “lobby broom”. That was all the description Ace had on it. Fine. Industrial strength, perhaps?

When I got the invoice in the email, I worried just a bit. 36 inch lobby broom. Just what exactly is 36 inches?

And then it came. All 36 inches of it. I had ordered a broom the height of my three year old.

On the bright side, my kids have never been so excited to clean the floors for me before.


What a way to start the day.

Ruby climbed into bed next to me this morning. I was feeding Pierce and she was talking on and on about how she’d learned at co-op that “thumbs up” means yes and “thumbs down” means no. She turned away for a second and I stole her “birdy pillow” (a pillow covered in birds I made her for her birthday. It came with her into my bed.). She looked up, saw what I’d done, then silently gave me a famous Ruby frowny face and thrust her fist up in a vigorous “thumbs down”. Oh my, I laughed. What a joy this baby girl is, in all her fiery glory.


Pierce: 2 months.

I dropped the ball on getting photos of Pierce today. I’ll delete that line and add photos if I get my act together soon. He’s two months old today and we visited the midwife for one last checkup, so he got weighed and measured. Baby’s big! He weighed 13 lbs. and was 26 inches long. That would be why I had to get out 3-6 month clothes for him. He’s been much happier than he has been up to this point, but he has definite ideas about where he should sleep – and it’s not in his bed. He’s gone through three sets of batteries in his short little life and is insistent it’s the swing or Momma’s arms.

Baby’s loved. Baby’s growing. Life is good.