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.


It’s a sad state of affairs.

So I’m sitting here, staring at “Enter a post title” followed by a blank white page and I’ve realized something. My funny got up and left. Somewhere, in the stress that is life right now, my sense of humor snuck out the back without so much as a farewell.

It’s a sad state of affairs.

So, on that note, I’m planning a trip north to visit my parents next week. A good dose of my momma should help, I’m thinking.

I’m painting the kitchen a bright sunny yellow. This fabric, made into a sling for another, inspired my labors:


With white trim and gray cabinets, it’s turning out just how I’d hoped. The last coat is on the walls and I’m looking forward to putting everything back in it’s place. We haven’t eaten at the table in three days. Charlotte even patted the floor next to me and told Blaine she’d made a spot for him. Such generosity.

My laundry room is nearing completion. For those of you local folk, you know how long this road has been. We’re approaching 2.5 years. It has walls, paint, and outlets. I do a double take every time I step out there.

Charlotte turned two on Wednesday. Pierce turns one on Monday. Pierce is sleeping all night, I have too a few times, and it felt wonderful. Last night, not so much. Eden was gone to a sleepover, Ruby slept in Eden’s bed, and sometime around 2am Sterling was in my room in hysterics because Ruby was sleeping in his spot on his bed. When asked this morning about it, Ruby said she’s not sure what happened. She didn’t know she wasn’t in Eden’s bed until morning. A mattress trundle-style and a squishy brother to land on cushioned her fall enough to keep her asleep in the roll-off. Sterling slept in Eden’s bed after that. Ruby asked if Eden could go somewhere again sometime soon, so that she can try again.

I’ll take photos of the kitchen once I get it put back together and scrubbed. You can’t imagine how much dirt can land on one floor in three days when it can only be minimally swept. I’m amazed we have any left in the yard.


My Job, According to Ruby.

Ruby had a startling observance yesterday. I was hanging up wet laundry to dry and she was ‘helping’.

“You’re lucky, Momma.”

Lucky is her new word. Everyone is far more lucky than she in her pessimistic worldview.

“How’s that.?”

“You get to sit at the computer and click, click, click while all of us have to do chores and clean and…”

“I don’t do anything around here?”

“Not really. We have to do it all.”

Having just cooked a roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, cauliflower, and broccoli for supper, followed by rhubarb cheesecake for dessert – all from scratch – and now I was doing a load made up of all children’s laundry, I took slight offense at this view of hers.

“Who feeds you?”

“You. But that’s not really work. I like to cook.”

“Who does your laundry?”

“Well… you do. But mostly we have to do all the work.”

“I’ll remind you of that in about 20 years when you’re sitting on your backside all day while your small children bring you bon-bons and truffles.”



Friday Blaine and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary.
A friend took the kids Friday and Saturday. We stayed home and wondered what on earth we’ll do when the kids are grown. It was so… quiet. No one woke me up at 4am. I got more hours of sleep straight than I have since before Charlotte was born. We sat on the porch and visited without a single interruption. We set up pop cans and shot them full of holes, just for the fun of it.

We had a lovely time. And then, we went and picked up the kids. I’m just not good at this whole “no kids” thing. Life without them is, well, boring.

No offense to my dear husband. Ten years, six kids, nine houses, four states… life together has been anything but boring. We been blessed beyond measure with this big family of littles. I can’t imagine doing this without him. I love that man.


Jen’s Wreaths

Edited to add a winner: Julia, whose comment, "What an awesome giveaway! Just looking at them got me so excited for this winter!! They're all so pretty and festive - I like them all! This one is fun:" won! I used to generate a winner. I need your full name/address and I'll send it on to Jenny. Congratulations! Let me know what you think when you get it? I can't wait to hear how beautiful it is!

I love Christmas. It’s the only holiday I decorate for, (something about a lack of time and energy to do any others) and, if you’ve been reading this blog for very long at all, you’ve seen photos of our scraggly “Charlie Brown” trees we’ve harvested from our pasture.

Jenny from Jen’s Wreaths harvest a far prettier variety than anything I’ve come up with. I heard from her earlier this week and she’s graciously agreed to give one Christmas wreath away to one of my readers. I’ve been trying to pick my favorite one. This one is awfully pretty. So is this one. I love this one. Beautiful.

Head over there, pick out your favorite, and let me know which one you like best? I’ll randomly pick one comment on Wednesday 9/26 and Jen’s Wreaths will send you a traditional wreath when they ship them out in November.

There’s nothing “Charlie Brown” about that.

Realization of the day:

Wash the ceiling fans. They look great, and stay clean for a LOT longer than anything else I clean in this house. The kids can’t reach them!


Just another day.

Bedtime is chaos around here. No matter how hard I try, it can’t seem to be any other way.

“Pajamas and teeth, everyone.”

“Why aren’t you in you pajamas?”


“Are my teeth clean?”

“No. What did you brush them with? Cake?!”

“I didn’t brush them yet.”

“Then why did you ask if they were clean?”

“I thought maybe they would be clean and I didn’t have to brush them.”

“Let me explain what ‘lying’ is, dear child…”


“I can’t find my pajamas.”

“Did you look in your pajama drawer?”



“I can’t brush my teeth. I can’t find my toothbrush.”

Or even better… “I couldn’t find my toothbrush so I used yours, Momma.”

It’s just chaos. By then end, both Blaine and I are hollering up the stairs to get the light off, stop talking, and no one had better be down those stairs until morning. So next time we’re out for Mom’s Night Out, you know why I procrastinate going home until it’s an obscene time for children to be awake. I just don’t want to come home too early and get sucked in.


Operation: Pierce

Night 2 of Operation: Pierce Sleeps at Night had me shaking my head at why I’d been getting up, feeding a baby, and putting him back into his bed again every 2 or so hours for 346 days. (Just for the record, I did that in my head. Then I got out a calculator, actually added it up, and came up with the exact same number. Sometimes I’m amazed to find a few brain cells are still alive and kicking in the right direction.)

He cried once. For less than 15 minutes.

Night 3 was more of the same. He cried once and got over it fairly fast. I didn’t get up.

Sleep, my friends, is a wonderful thing. I’ll let you know how wonderful just as soon as I retrain MY body not to wake up every two hours.


Hello, free. Hello, clean.

I still have a contest going for Combat Ant Bait and Gel here, but since it’s just so much fun to give things away, lets do this again.

Soft Scrub sent me two great products. Soft Scrub Total All Purpose with Bleach, and Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl. I have to say, I like them. We have plenty of opportunity around here to clean things, and both of these products stand up to their claims. And their squirt bottles work upside down – I love it. Behind the toilet – that works! Stains (Read: we have well water. Yes, stains. A lot of stains.) are gone, and everything smells fresh and clean. One toilet, eight people, one almost-two year old who likes to empty her own potty chair… oh yes, we have ample scrubbing opportunity.

Want to try out Soft Scrub for yourself? Perfect! They sent me three coupons to give away to three of you, so you all can scrub away the grime too. You’ll get to pick from Soft Scrub Total, Soft Scrub Bleach Clean, or Soft Scrub abrasive with your coupon. So cool. So clean.

Just comment below, and let me know you’d like to enter! Entries close for a random drawing on September 17 at noon CST.

Ok, so maybe it was just me.

Last night started Operation: Pierce Sleeps At Night. We broke away from Operation: Pierce Nurses All Night and went for Operation: Pierce Screams All Night.

It was a really, really long night. Since Pierce shares a room with all of his siblings, I was afraid today was going to be nightmarish. When I asked Blaine how he slept – because I didn’t, after 12am it was all screaming and no sleeping until about 5am – he said, and I quote, “Oh, my back kept waking me up, hurting.” Your back?!

The kids were something similar. “How’d you sleep?”


You mean that 25 pound ball of screaming fury 4 feet from your head didn’t bother you?

Nope. Apparently Pierce and I were alone in our wakened height of “I love you but I don’t like you very much right about now.” The feeling was mutual, I think.


There will be blood.

I’ve seen women with cute metal bangle bracelets and wished I had some. That pony tail holder is just not so chic.

Problem: I have larger hands than most, apparently. Freakishly large, perhaps. I don’t really want to know. Bangle bracelets don’t even begin to fit over them. (Onto my ever so petite wrists, you know.) So the other day I was in a nice clothing store with only one child. (You don’t go into these stores with more than that. They look at you with looks of horror and all but encourage you to shop elsewhere.) They had a set of bracelets that looked slightly larger than most. They must have been, because, with only slight coaxing, I got them on.

And then. Tag attached, I couldn’t. Get. Them. Off. Salesladies are hovering, and I’m attempting to discreetly yank the set off my hand without mangling their perfectly round shape. Pull. Yank. Do not, I repeat, not, jump up and down, despite the urges to try what my children do when they cannot get something off. Cringe, ever so daintily, at the sales lady, who is now watching smugly while removing the top two layers of skin on wrist.

Whew. Got it. No blood, we’re good.

We won’t be back in that store any time soon.


When you put it that way…


I sound like quite the task master. For the record, washing windows, unfortunately, doesn’t happen around here so often. Once, twice a year if I’m on the ball. Mopping is reserved for Momma unless they beg, (and that’s happened) because I’m too picky. And mowing?! The girl is too small to get the brake engaged… not that I’ve had her try or anything…

Spelling word for the day: usually.


A whole lot of ruckus.

We had a pretty good storm last night. We were gone for the evening and came home to a minor mess. My laundry on the clothesline is sopping wet, many pieces of clothing are in the mud instead, and the line is hanging ridiculously low. The cast iron grill was blown over (impressive!) and, from the smell, leaking propane. For a brief moment I thought it broke the sliding glass door. It didn’t, but the screen was knocked out. We walked through the house, wary of creatures. There were none. A few small branches are on the ground, but from the news I’ve heard of others in the area, we didn’t get nearly the storm others did. The electricity had been out, but it was back on when we got home.

Driving through that storm though… I’d been headed to Walmart, was informed Walmart was closed due to the impending storm. Then I had to drive across town. Hard rain, having not been getting so much of this in the last many months, was a new thing for me in a 12 passenger van. Traffic lights were out, and between the rain and the wind (up to 70 mph I was told) made for an interesting and loud experience. The kids thought it was terrific fun. It wasn’t.

The discussions as the gray sky poured down on us went to the flood. Funny how bright sunny skies change dark so fast, and when it’s raining so hard the wipers can’t keep up, you realize in some minute measure what all those people not on the ark must have been thinking when it didn’t stop for a month and a half. (I’m sure limited thinking was going on after the first bit. You know.) It’s a dark and dreary feeling. We like to think we’re in charge, building and doing and going about our business. In that moment, you realize how truly vulnerable, how dependent on God we really are. One storm lasting an hour caused a whole lot of ruckus around here.


Combat Ant Bait Giveaway!

I was sent Combat Source Kill Max Ant Bait and Ant Gel to review and host a giveaway to you, my readers.

I’m having one problem: the ants haven’t hit yet! Without a doubt, they are coming. And I’m ready!
The Ant Gel contains Fipronil, a fast acting active ingredient that kills the ants pestering me and spreads through the whole colony so no more will return to avenge their colony mates. The Ant Bait will kill most ants found in homes and provide long lasting protection.

But the ants, upon seeing that blue and yellow box, moved elsewhere. Talk about working!
So, dear friends, if you have a pest problem that has shown up sooner than mine, would you care to try Combat? If you enter below, you’ll be up for winning a Combat Source Kill Max Ant Bait and Ant Gel Kit of your very own.

Pesky critters. The don’t cooperate, coming or going. I’ll bet Combat will stop them, dead in their tracks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Project: Containment.

It’s been a bag-sewing day. This summer, after stuffing eight towels in a three-towel bag more times than I can count, my dear husband suggested I make one to fit our family.

Meet, the new beach bag, Polka Dotty. (Thank you, Hobby Lobby, for your clearance fabric rack. I’m not that picky. It’s perfect.) With room for many more towels, we’re set. I can even fit an extra diaper in there. The previous bag couldn’t fit even an extra wipe, never mind something of substance. Hooray for extra room. :)


It remains to be seen if Blaine or I will be the only ones strong enough to carry the monstrosity.


And, a new purse. Because I loved the gray fabric. A lot.

Happy birthday, happy birthday…


Someone turns 30 tomorrow. She knows who she is. Half the country away, this is all the party I can throw for her. I’m trying.

I’m attempting slight discretion here, in case she doesn’t want the world to know… but HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, dear ____. :)


The conversations in the back of my van went something like this:

“Why do boy Indians have long hair?”

“Because they don’t have time to cut it.”

“Charlotte, you’re a big baby. You don’t need toys in the van. You can play with them in Sunday school. Pierce is a little baby. He needs them now. Give that book back to Pierce.”




“Yes! Charlie, you are a big baby! You don’t need that! Pierce does!”


This went on for many more minutes. My sanity when we got to church was questionably shaky.

Today is being held together by orajel and birthday cake. We’ll make it.

Mis-termed communication.

My kids managed to pick up one of those lovely sayings that I’ve so enjoyed NOT hearing since they are homeschooled and a bit more sheltered from such things.

Ruby’s version:

“How old are you?”
“What color is the sky?”
“Momma blew up! Isn’t that funny?”

Oh, so funny.

Eden, coming at me with the real version, got a little lesson in dynamite and the like.

“What does to blow up mean, Eden?”
“To poop your pants and leak.”
“Umm, that’s a blow out. But I’m glad you think that I pooped my pants and you aren’t wishing me dead.”