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.


Yet to be announced…

I wish I had an exciting “It’s a _____! Named ___________  __________! Weighing ___lbs. and ___oz.. (I can only imagine those will be big numbers. Because while my belly has seen better days, hosted many babies at this point, it’s not usually this large.) If I didn’t still look (and feel, I assure you) this miserable:


I’d have some news for you. But… Baby #6 is now later than all but one of it’s siblings, due 3 days ago and giving me little indication to say when it will decide to grace us with it’s presence.

But I’m told this can’t last forever.

Mr. Pot and Miss Kettle

“Would you stop asking so many questions, Ruby?” says Sterling during her typical Ruby-style the-same-questions-asked-20-different-ways interrogation during lunch today.

Sterling has a similar style.

It’s a pot and kettle situation. You just never realize how annoying you can be… until someone else does it to you. Huh.


Car seat jigsaw puzzle

My minivan seats 8 people. But not 6 car seats. Thankfully, Liberty is, at the ripe old age of eight, old enough to not require one by state law – so that leaves 5 car seats to fit into 6 seats. So yesterday, realizing that this baby will eventually come and should we need to go anywhere shortly after, my body might not like playing the car seat jigsaw game (Because it does now, for sure… if I could just fit between the rows back there!) and Blaine’s skills are lacking in the car seat installation process (and I’m fairly certain it’s a self-decided and self-imposed handicap) we installed another car seat and moved and shoved and at one point I found myself sitting in a car seat, knowing that if my currently oversized body couldn’t get it to fit, it wasn’t going to, no how, no way.

They are all in. In the only way we could get them to fit. No one will be riding on the roof. Eden might have permanently skinned knuckles from reaching in the hole next to her seat to buckle her booster, but she’s agreed to take one for the team. I didn’t know what else to do.

Now, we wait. Because, in Sterling’s words, this baby is taking a looooooonnnnnnggggg time to get borned.



When trying to teach your almost-one-year-old to blow out a flame with a lighter, use the utmost care. When they dive, watch the hair. Singed blond baby hair smells really, really bad.

We’ll try again when she turns two. That was a dismal failure.


Happy birthday, Charlie-girl.

Charlotte is one year old. How crazy is that? The year has flown. She’s been one of my easiest babies – once we got past not nursing (because #6 was on it’s way) and what to do about that. She’s happy, smiling, and always excited to see her daddy. She’s learned, in the last year, to sit up, roll over, sit herself up, do the splits, (Pretty sure this is due to my expanding waistline that she loves to sit on!) do the funniest belly-crawl I’ve seen, and now, just this week, she’s pulling herself up on things to stand up. She loves to eat – dirt included – and hates conflict. I can’t scold another child in her presence or I have to comfort the baby. Tender-hearted baby girl, she’s the most popular one in the house for all the other kids. She has constant entertainment and getting her belly laugh going is everyone’s goal. I’m amazed how she’s just fit into the crew of kids – including taking Liberty “Bitty” as her second momma – a fully acceptable substitute when Momma is busy.

She’s a love. I can’t wait to see who she becomes as she grows. Happy birthday, Charlotte Serenity.


Yes, folks, I’m still here. Still pregnant. Still quite miserable, thank you very much. I’m assured this cannot last much longer. A week seems like an eternity right now, but each day has to be one less before I meet this baby. At least that is what I keep trying to remind myself.

And with that, I’m off to hibernate some more. Because the questions I get from perfect strangers assure me that I’m really as huge as I feel. One lovely little child asked me what the baby is doing. I told her the truth. Baby’s growing. I spared her any of the uncomfortable details of how I know this. She’d be scarred for life and I’m certain her mother would love to be a grandmother some day and wouldn’t thank me for ruining any chance of that.


Nice try.

I’ve started a new thing lately – making oatmeal/cream of wheat and then getting the kids up to breakfast already made. They get up faster than ever before and we’re well on our way, right away. This morning, though…

Ruby’s usually the first one up. She’s usually “helping” me make the oatmeal most mornings. But today, she slept. When I hollered that breakfast was ready, she slept. Only Liberty and Eden came down to eat, and ten minutes later when Ruby woke up to Liberty on her favorite chair (the turn-y chair - thanks Wendell and Bunny!) she was irate. She announced that Liberty would not be getting any oatmeal if she didn’t move… and was informed that the bowl in front of said chair was Liberty’s. That Ruby’s was still in the pan. That she was at Liberty’s mercy if she wanted her cereal dished up… That was a moment.

Ten minutes back in her bed resolved that attitude. Let’s try this again.


Three is a very funny age.

“Ruby! Don’t color on the baby!” – Liberty

“Momma, why do you have boobs?” After explaining about feeding babies and broken record syndrome, compliments to the age of three, had her asking three more times, I turned the question on her.

“Why do you have boobs, Ruby?”

“I don’t yet. I just have freckles.”

“I don’t like the new baby very much. It’s taking a long time to come.” – Sterling

“Ruby, what is that smell I keep smelling on you?”

“My toot.”

(I found out it was my conditioner in her hair that I kept smelling. But it was nice to get a warning about the air condition in her vicinity.)


You’re so… weird.

Monday I did five loads of laundry. That caught me up. When I mentioned this to my sister, mother of three, she commented, “So that means you’re caught up until tomorrow, right?”

Um, yeah. Of course. There’ll be at least two more loads by tomorrow.

I didn’t do those two loads yesterday. Today, I’ve done four loads. I have one left. Apparently that’s not normal. It hadn’t occurred to me. Then, of course, I started thinking. Pretty sure I was more content before I started thinking. Less than 15 laundry loads a week? I cannot imagine.

But then I looked at the baby… Charlotte was laying on the floor. She’d gagged herself with a toy and lost her toast. Everywhere. Pity party over… throw the baby in the tub, and her pj’s in the laundry. And know I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Ok, I could have done without the regurgitated toast. But it comes with the territory.)

Stuff worth losing sleep over. Or not.

When I’m pregnant, I wake up in the middle of the night. A lot. Things that don’t matter and certainly cannot/should not be changed before morning suddenly become front and center in my overactive brain that apparently has nothing bigger to worry about than whether I remembered to get stewed tomatoes at the store or if I mailed something or where on earth one grey croc shoe could have possibly landed. You know, important stuff. Certainly stuff to lose sleep over. For sure.

So that’s why I’m so tired today. Perfect sense. I saved the world – one ridiculous thought at a time – from 12:57 am until 5:23 am. But at 7:26 am, when I needed to be up and going – then I was finally asleep. Perfect.


Quotes from today:

“Oh, Charlie. Oh, Charlie. Oh, man. Charlie!” – Ruby, as she found the puddle Charlotte was making bigger by the millisecond.

“Mom, just pick her up. I need to mop there.” – Ruby, as she gleefully cleaned up the lake Charlotte had made.

“I am going to be sooo handsome! Daddy won’t even know what to say he’s going to like it so much.” – Sterling

“Is one pickle enough or can I have another one?” – Eden (I said no. We were three pickles away from going through an entire jar - in one lunch. Sometimes, I numbers stagger me. And my grocery budget.)

“I would stay inside and take a nap if you would let me.” – Sterling

“You said the baby would be born after my birthday, Momma. I’m three. How come it isn’t borned yet?” (To which I replied, “It will come any minute hour day week month now, I promise. I’m told it has to end eventually.”)

“Say ‘scuse me, Charlie. You have to say ‘scuse me when you do that.” – Ruby

“I’m done, Momma! I did it al…nevermind. I forgot to do spelling.” – Liberty, at almost the end of her school day.

“Get all the frowning done now, Charlie-girl. Look at me like that in a couple years and you won’t get laughed at. You’ll get into trouble.” – Momma


Hello, Contractions.

The only times in my life I’ve wished for pain is the last three weeks of all six of my pregnancies. Contractions are regular and constant for me at the end, more so this time than ever before, and all I can wish for is for them to get harder. More painful. End this adventure. Bring on Baby. I go to bed hoping to wake up to labor – in spite of never having gone into labor in the night before – and every morning, I’m still breathing normally. I. hate. the. end. I rather hate the pain of labor as well, but I love meeting Baby.Can we just get this over with, please?!

Besides, I’m tired of trying to find anything that fits. If you see me in the same outfit for the next how-many-ever-days this drags on for, just assume it’s the only thing that fits. Or the only thing that’s clean, if my belly is sticking out. Sterling really, really enjoys telling me that my belly is sticking out from his underbelly perspective.

Come on, Baby.


It’s gonna be a great day.

I got up early this morning, made oatmeal, and got the kids up – in record time, since oatmeal is a favorite and being told it’s waiting is a huge incentive around here. My plan: getting a lot accomplished today.

Half an hour later, Blaine was leaving for work, and Sterling was crying, unable to find the clothes he was looking for, Ruby was crying over a bug bite she’d scraped open, and I was in the bathroom, losing my I-haven’t-even-eaten-yet when Charlotte’s dirty diaper was too much to handle, while Charlotte was hollering on the changing table because I’d posted Eden (ie. the first child in the vicinity tall enough to do the job) as guard when I ran for fresher air… and a sink.

Oh yeah. These are the days.


Labor Day

I have to admit, I had high hopes that I’d spend Labor Day laboring. And I did. I mowed the yard – that produced nothing but the desperate need for a shower and a lot of inhaled dust from crispy dried-out grass. I cleaned the house. Major bonus there, but no laboring effects. I made cookies… I’m sure those would be beneficial to some poor starving child, but my expanding waistline doesn’t need such a benefit. I set up the crib for Charlotte so she can migrate from the pack ‘n play to the crib. (Compliments of a borrowed mattress – since we already have two –and Sterling and Ruby have them in toddler beds. I refuse to buy another crib mattress.) So Charlotte is a crib now, the pack ‘n play is (very, very briefly) packed away, and Baby will have a bed too… but it seems quite content to remain right where it is for another day - or up to 5 weeks, I try to remind myself. Horrid thought.

Oh well. It was worth a shot. Now, I have to hope I don’t go into labor tonight. I’m exhausted!


TMI and other quips from my day.

Eden learned of horizontal, vertical, and oblique in math today. When asked which way the rug lies, she replied, “vortiblique”. Does that mean an automatic correct answer – all bases covered?

Tomorrow Ruby turns three. Oh, the excitement in my house when the kids saw the gifts wrapped and ready to go. On the menu: sticky buns with lots of cinnamon (Ruby really stressed on the cinnamon), pizza with NO macaroni (pepperoni), and chocolate cake with no frosting, just ice cream and hot fudge sauce. And banana bread and banana chocolate chip muffins - just because those are some of her favorite things and she couldn’t commit to which one she wanted.

Ruby fell face first off of the little three-step high plastic slide onto the concrete patio while I was gone two weeks ago. These things always seem to happen when I’m gone… I’m not going to dwell on that one, but still. She landed on her nose (I’ve gotten that phone call once before) and I’m pretty sure she broke it. For the second time. She does not recognize her abilities, or, um, lack thereof, and she really lacks landing skills – but I digress.

Fast forward two weeks of blood in her nose that hurts enough she doesn’t want me to touch it – but she let a pool worker clean up willingly when they didn’t want her in the pool like that – and she finally got it out on her own. She was so proud of herself. Yep, folks, Momma encouraged the girl to pick her nose. Lovely, right? But the conversation afterward was the funny part. “I got it out, Momma! See it? It’s really big, Momma. That is gross and disgusting. It’s stinky and gross. I wouldn’t want to eat it! Nope, that’s gross.” And she got up, walked to the garbage, and threw it away. Thankfully. I’m still a little amazed it didn’t land on the floor. Taking care of her own messes is not exactly her strong suit. We’re working on that one. Expect progress on that – after I re-teach her to keep her fingers out of her nose…

My midwife appointment Wednesday revealed dilation to 3cm and a raging infection in or headed for my kidneys. That back pain last week? Yeah. My only symptom, at least now I know I’m not a total wimp. I’ve never dilated this early or this far before labor. We’ll see what happens. Due date is three weeks way.