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.


I don’t know how to sleep anymore.

Pierce slept through the night for the very first time last night. He’ll be 10 months old tomorrow. He’s usually up 2-3 times a night to nurse.

From 11:30 pm to 7:10 am, it was just me waking up. Apparently he has me trained.


Flexibility and the need to learn to swim.

In the words of Sterling, watching Olympic diving:

“Why are they swimming in their underwear?”

“Um, that’s not underwear. It maybe should be, but it’s not. It’s his swimming suit.”

“Why isn’t he wearing a life jacket?”

Oh dear.

I walked into my bedroom tonight to find a doll in a doll playpen, tucked in and sleeping in my room.

“Who put the baby doll to bed in my room?”

Ruby confessed. Sort of.

“I had to. Pierce was going to bed and I cannot get her up when she wakes up if he’s sleeping, because you won’t let me go in there. I had to put her in your room. It’s okay Momma. It works.”

She’s so flexible.

Dry humor.

Quote for the day*:

“I am a Daddy, not a towel.”

* Used with permission.

I tried.

I’ve always been a little intimidated by that mom. You know the ones. They have fabulous projects that teach great life skills planned for their children each day. They plan out rounded meals that include twenty-six food groups and never, ever feed their children unhealthy foods like sugar.

I am not that mom.

I did, however, put blue food coloring in the bread pudding I was making when I realized that it was the day for opening ceremonies for the Olympics and we had a red-cranberries white-frosting going on. Bring on the red, white, and blue bread pudding… slightly skewed with colors running. I tried.


Unfortunately, these colors don’t run true. My patriotism is not reflected in my inability to be that mom, right?


Pierce, meet desk leg.


The perils of freshly learned mobility.

I love when one of my children come to me and tell me the stories of the conversations they just had with Pierce.

They go something like this:

“Pierce wants more banana, Momma. He said “Nana. Nana.” I asked him if he wanted more banana, and he said “Yeah”.”

Funny. All I get out of the nine month old is “Mama,” “Dada” and “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

Maybe it’s just me.



How can one little girl stay dry for 12 hours at night but pee on the floor twice in ten minutes?

I don’t get it.

Oh. my. SORE.


For the record.

Every so often, I forget that I am not 16, that I am not in the shape that I was when I was 16, and that maybe, just maybe, my plans are a little overdoing it.

Today was one of those days.

I’d heard of a place to play in the river nearby. Catch: It’s about 2 miles of walking to get to it. Note: it’s another two miles to get back to the car.

Why not?

I strapped Pierce on my back, handed out 7 water bottles, and we headed out. We had a blast. We walked, walked, walked, splashed, waded, (or, if you’re as tall as Charlotte, swam) and walked, walked, walked.

For three hours.

By the time we were walking back, Charlotte was very done walking and she was on my shoulders, Pierce was tied on my back, and Brady’s leash drug behind her because even she was too tired to attempt to explore. The kids were all declaring Pierce to be the only dry child until they saw him when he came off my back. Anybody want to say “Ewwwwww”? He was more drenched than the ones who’d been playing in the river.

I’d started walking/running this week, in the evenings. I’d love to be in the shape I was when I was sixteen. But for now, well, I was already sore.

Tonight’s walk/run: Cancelled.

P.s. It’s 104 degrees outside. For the record.


I hate to burst your bubble, but…

I asked Sterling about 20 questions this afternoon. I do this every so often, mostly to keep tabs on what any one of my kids are thinking and to keep them on their toes and able to answer questions (that they should know the answer to) as fast as I can ask them. Plus, it’s just fun.

“What’s your favorite color?”


“What’s your middle name?”


“How do you spell ‘Sterling’?”

“What grade are you in?”

“What do you want to do when you grow up?”

“Be a cop.”

“Really?” I hadn’t heard this one before.

“Well, mostly I just don’t want to go to jail. If I’m a cop, and then I can’t go to jail.”

Perfect sense. Or not.


What are the chances?

Last week, I washed and rewashed the couch covers, trying to get out Charlotte’s dry-erase marker drawings. Giving up, I put them back on the couch, priced dye and remained indecisive on whether to let well enough alone or attempt to dye them from tan to a dark brown.

Today, having eaten leftover sloppy joe (from the meal Pierce has displayed on his face in an earlier post) during school instructions, my dirty fork lie in a nearly empty bowl on the coffee table.

Dear child, in one fell motion, lowered a foot, the fork flew like a catapult and decorated my freshly labored-over couch in greasy, tomato-doused meat.

What are the chances?!

I grouched, sprayed, soaked, and told dear child my true feelings.

I am impressed. That couldn’t ever happen again quite so efficiently, no matter who tried. But please don’t try.

A glimpse of my life.

I was looking at a map on google of a nearby park, and it had me curious what our house looked like from overhead.

It’s not completely recent – it still has our old van in the driveway – but it’s been taken since we bought the house. Kinda cool.

Upon closer examination, I realized that that shadow next to the clothesline? Yeah, that would be the diapers on the line. Oh yeah.


Vote now!

See that badge over on the right, for the top 25 big family blogs?

Please? Vote for me? How cool would that be?!

Thanks. I owe you one. :)


Competition for top honors.

Charlotte has a little competition for the messiest eater contest these days.


Yes, I know they are practically the same photo. But which one’s cuter?! I couldn’t decide. Either way, Mr. P. likes sloppy joe. A lot.


F on ‘Effort’.

I asked Sterling to help Charlotte get some shoes on her feet.


This is what he came up with. Either I’m asking a little much or he’s not giving me 100%. I’m thinking it’s the latter.


And… DONE!

Formerly white, peeling, and nearly always in need of a good scrubbing, my kitchen cabinets now sport a (in my opinion) lovely shade of gray.


I ended up painting far more than I’d intended, spent more time fighting with 34 hinges than I hope to ever spend again, and have yet to wash out my paintbrush so you’ll have to settle for a glimpse of my cabinets instead of the whole kitchen’s worth.

I did wash the floor though. Since a small child was in jeopardy of getting stuck to it permanently, that is a very good thing.

Off to clean off counters. I need my kitchen back.


It was awful quiet in there.

I’ve been busy with the kitchen cupboards. Charlotte must have been feeling ignored.

She did a little artwork with a red marker. On the coffee table, on the furniture, on the couch. She was destroyed when I had to inform her in no uncertain terms that I did not like her drawings.

Never fear, though. All we keep around here are Crayola. It’ll wash.

Today’s wash dictates otherwise.

You know those dry erase markers, kept in the kitchen drawer, out of reach of littles?

They aren’t in the drawer. The drawer is in the shop, being painted.

They are in a basket in the kitchen. On the floor.

Except the red one. That one’s up and missing.

Anyone have a good trick for making permanent less permanent? Shout, Tide, Lestoil… I’m plumb out of tricks. My couch begs for your help.

A letter.

Dear Child, (who shall remain nameless, because I promise you, this will embarrass you later)

There’s a saying about not putting a ‘p’ in the ‘ool. You know the one. Please don’t.

I know you were told by an outside source that peeing in the lake is acceptable. I cringe, but the fish do it, so I suppose I’ll let it slide.

The slip and slide is not a lake. Not even close. Not cool. So not cool. The bathroom is inside, dear one. Try that next time.




According to Ruby.

I’ve been working on our kitchen cabinet doors and drawers. Sanding, priming, and painting aren’t new things around this old little house – as evidenced by Ruby’s comments as she watched me paint yesterday.

“Can you paint other things with that paint?”


“Can you paint the cat?”

“I suppose I could. I don’t imagine she’d like it very much, though, and it wouldn’t stick very well long term, I’m thinking.”

“You’d have to use primer, Momma. Then it would stick. The Callie (the calico) would be gray!”


Today’s conversation during the second coat of paint resulted in more gasping and choking on my coffee.

“What do you feed raccoons?”

“I don’t feed them. I shoot them.”

“But what do other people feed raccoons?”

“I don’t think they do. Raccoons steal corn out of gardens, though.”

“But not our garden.”

“Our corn is too sad. The raccoons don’t want it.”

“Can you paint the corn?”

“Why would I want to paint it?”

“You don’t. If you painted it and we ate it, it would be ‘asgusting’. Then, if we didn’t like it, (Take note: Just because it’s disgusting does not mean we wouldn’t like it. According to Ruby.) we’d have to throw it out and that would waste money.”

Apparently, conversations with Ruby are actually teaching her something. In a roundabout way, of course. It is Ruby, after all.


Why don’t you make yourself at home, my dear?

We came home from errands today and within moments of walking into the house, Charlotte took her shorts off.

Potty-training bare-bottom technique backfire. Take 254.

I’ll just be thankful it wasn’t at the store. Or at a church we were visiting again after having moved away seven years earlier. Oh yeah, that’s never happened.

It’s been hot. Hot enough that, were I really on top of things, I could have the clothes hung on the clothesline, back off the clothesline, folded and put away by the time the next load is finished washing. If only I were that good.

Pierce is, slowly but surely, deciding to move. He propels himself forward with one foot and pulls forward with both hands and gets a few inches before he either gets to where he wants to be or gets mad. It’s a slow process. He’s happier with life these days.

Charlotte is a mere 1/2 pound lighter than her baby brother. She’s doing her best to put gray hairs on my head and, should things continue, I’ll be putting padlocks on all the food in the kitchen. She’s into it. All. Day. Long.

Ruby is entering the stage of fear. All of my children, around 3-4 years old, suddenly become scared of everything, including their shadow. It’s a stage that drives me nuts. But it’s just a stage. No, the forest isn’t bursting it’s seams with animals that are waiting for the first chance to come out and devour you. I promise. Convince her of that. Strangely enough, taking Charlotte with her outside suffices to calm her fears. Charlie’s one formidable enemy, I know.

We’ve been scrubbing the house a lot this week. It’s looking better. The parts that Charlotte hasn’t undone do, anyhow. We rearranged furniture and swapped out two small dressers for two larger ones in the kids bedroom. Hooray for more space to store clothes while taking up the same footprint size on the floor. Everyone’s drawers are breathing a little easier after that project.

I’m gearing up to paint kitchen cabinets. I wasn’t planning on it before yesterday… but now I’m pretty excited to get going with it. You know how much I enjoyed painting the bathroom ones. Lets take on a project quadruple the size and see how that goes. Ugh.



Motherhood moment of the day: At the second to last stop, including a bit of time spent at the park, finding your dear newly potty trained daughter without her undergarments.

Sad admission: It’s not the first time it’s happened.

FYI: I found said undergarments in our bathroom, upon arrival at home. Apparently, while I put them on her this morning, she disagreed with the need for them and disposed them before we left for town.

Another giveaway. If you can handle it.

Purex, as a thank you for making their Dry Idea campaign successful, has sent me three (more!) coupons to give away.

Can you handle more freebies?

I have three coupons for free Purex TripleAction laundry detergent. Comment here or on a big (little) family facebook page for a drawing. I’ll draw on Friday.


Shortcomings. Major shortcomings.

I made rice crispy bars yesterday. I made them for community group… and forgot to take them. Perfect. Ruby’s been eyeing them ever since though. She has a question though.

“Why, when you buy them from the store, they aren’t attached, but when you make them, they are all attached? And in a pan?”

I’m just not that good, baby girl. I can’t make them instantly cut and in a neat blue package. Sorry.

Pierce, meet Watermelon.

Last year, I wrote this post about Charlotte’s first experience with watermelon. In keeping with tradition, here’s Pierce’s first encounter with the fruit.

IMG_3909 (2)IMG_3910 (2)IMG_3911 (2)IMG_3912 (2)IMG_3913 (2)IMG_3915 (2)

It’s just too much fun to hand it to them and let them go at it. It’s less fun with it’s time to clean up the mess. But again, totally worth it.

From the Land Down Under

“Mom, how does your hair spray smell good when it’s made out of kangaroos?”

Sterling wants to know. Aussie, you want to take this one?


Just a swingin’



The swing that Uncle Brian hung in the tree in our front yard a year and a half ago has been used on a nearly daily basis by many small children. Today, it bit back.


Think I should help her?


Sterling, revised.

One little boy’s freckled, speckled nose


now holds a pair of blue spectacles.


He’s enjoying the game of pretending he’s upset about them.


Every so often, though, I catch him making faces at himself in the mirror


and smiling.


9 months.


Little Man Pierce is getting so big. He’s now 9 months old. He’s finally broke through his first tooth. He can pull to stand on me, but hasn’t pulled up on anything else yet. He doesn’t crawl, but he does try to scoot. Mostly it just makes him mad. When he’s mad, he’s been known to hold his breath until he’s purple.

Temper, much? He’s sweet often, crabby often, and rarely anything in between. He loves his Momma, his brother, and his swing outside. And riding on boats. And anything engine-like that makes a loud noise.


He has been 9 months for, um, 5 days now. But since I’m not a full month or even a week behind, I’m saying it’s on time still. My blog, my rules. Sort of.

A boy after my own heart.

Pierce has a new favorite food. It even trumps Momma’s milk.

Espresso ice cream.

Don’t ask me how I know.

Give away smell-away?

Dry Idea sent me a free deodorant to try out – and three coupons to give away to you, my lucky (and sweaty, if your climate is anything like mine these last few days!) readers.

Dry Idea took me through a camping trip. No one complained, so I’m going to say it worked up to it’s claims. You can find them on Facebook at and also at

Care for a coupon for a FREE Dry Idea AdvancedDry deodorant so you can stay fresh too? Leave a comment and I’ll draw for three winners on Monday.

Your loved ones will thank you.



Tonight, I made zucchini boats for supper. I mixed them up, got them in the oven, and they had to bake for 25 minutes.

In 25 minutes, I gave two boys haircuts, the same two boys baths, and took a shower myself. I made it just in time.

But if you see a bald spot, a crooked cut, or a few hairs missed - just remember: 25 minutes.


Home again.

After 10 days, 2,147 miles, one dog, and eight people more or less living out of a 12 passenger van for the duration, we’re home. In one piece. After driving all night and arriving home this morning at 6am, we’re all a little exhausted. Me more than the kids – so much for a nap.

The van is a disaster. If we get it emptied and vacuumed today, it will be a grand accomplishment.

We camped, fished, saw friends, saw family, saw the badlands, chased after the runaway dog, turned the radio up louder to drown out the baby’s protests to his carseat, and turned the radio up louder to drown out the toddler’s protests to her carseat. We ate more hamburgers and hot dogs than I can count, and slept in multiple rest areas when we couldn’t stay awake to drive any longer. We weathered one rain storm, one very windy night, and just a tad of hail.

I did dishes one time in ten days. I washed one load of laundry in ten days. Many, many thanks to Grandma for her laundry and dish washing services and Uncle John for taking on the dishes we all dirtied during our time there.

Now, to go get pizza for lunch. Why break the no-cooking run now? Coming soon: photos. Just as soon as I get the camera unpacked. And maybe a nap.