Saturday night, the twins and I went to “town” to pick up a few last minute things for today. (AKA: the first day of full-time homeschooling for us in 2 whole years…gulp).

I was hoping to find some storage baskets to hang on the wall, so I ducked into Marshall’s. I didn’t find my baskets (boo!), but I still love a good excuse to troll their aisles stuffed with randomness.

And, let’s be honest: it doesn’t get much more random than this:


That would be a giant six made out of greenery and wire, complete with a burlap ribbon hanger and built-in twinkle lights.

I picked it up out of pure curiosity at first. But then. Oh THEN, an idea for a photo shoot with my kids rapidly formed in my mind. So, I hung that $12 piece of awesomeness on a stroller handle and tried not to poke anybody (the greenery is quite prickly!) on my way to the front.


And then, Sunday morning, I dressed my kids up all cute-like, even though we weren’t going to church because Ezra had been running a fever and was still feeling sub-par (not that you would know it from the pictures…he’s a trooper!). And then, my husband and I had an extended “discussion” about whether I had, indeed, brought home a 6…or was it a 9? Which I finally won when we figured out that the supposed “hooks” on which he had hung (see how I did that?) his entire argument for the number 9 were actually intended for holding the battery pack for the twinkle lights.


The entire debate ended with all of my children prancing around the room, parade-style chanting, “Ma-Ma’s Riiiiiight!” Awesome.



I managed to snag quite a few similar shots, but pretty much the second I tried to get the twins to themselves, Evy decided she was done. I sent Shaun to the house to grab some bribes (aka: homemade chocolate chip cookies), but all that got me was this:


Total absorption in cookie crumbs and zero attention left for mama.

Still, I can’t complain too much when I managed to capture jewels like this one.


And this one:


Oh, and we can’t forget this!  take7

And even though it was actually a 6 (so sorry, babe), one of the things that sold me on it in the first place was that when/if God blesses us with another kiddo, we can flip that bad boy over and use it for a prop with all of us in the picture (I suppose I could keep it around for if we ever hit #9 in the kid department, but that’s an overwhelming thought at the moment. One kid at a time, Abbie. One kid…oh wait, I have twins).

P.S. Anybody else out there doing this homeschooling Mama thing with me? I’d love to hear from you, pray for you, and–well, why not!–have you pray for me too!


  1. My lifelong friend homeschools and she has 7. The oldest is starting college this year and her youngest is 3. They have co-op once a week where the kids take science, an elective and pe. I’d love to take some of the electives – baking, Backyard Ballistics, and a Lego class for 3 of her kids.

    1. I don’t know about sure-fire tips, except perhaps to choose something that you KNOW he’ll succeed at that he absolutely loves. My boys (8 1/2 and almost 7) really only recently started LOVING to read, but I let them read a whole lot of goofy Spider-man vs. Sandman type stories (the kid versions, of course) because they loved them so much, and it kept them reading. Now, they’re interested in all things nature and have considerably more sophisticated tastes (sometimes : )). Anyway, don’t be discouraged. Just keep looking for new books to engage him, and I bet he’ll get there!

  2. This is my fifth year of homeschooling. A third grader and fourth grader. We just started today, but this year a baby is in the mix. My kids love it. It can be stressful and overwhelming at times but completely worth it. Bless everyone who is able to make this choice… well actually bless everyone, I know not everyone is able to do homeschooling or even wants to and that’s okay to. We are trying out the Singapore math this year which has mixed reviews so everyone keep there fingers crossed.

  3. Homeschooling for the first year ever!!!!!! I have a 10 (almost 11) year old son, 8 year old daughter and 3 year old son! I would love to hear any advice you could give to a new homeschooling mama! Your posts about homeschooling actually helped me when I was deciding about school!!!

    1. Oh wow! That’s awesome! I’m going to try to share any insights I have as they come along, but I would just encourage you not to sweat it too much (while still working hard at it, of course). There’s no one who can teach your kids better than you can, simply because, even if someone else has more information than you do, they’re just never going to be as motivated as you, your own child’s mother, are to see them succeed, learn, grow, develop, etc. You’ll do great!

  4. We’re five weeks into our 8th year of homeschooling! {How can that be?!} I have a 7th grader, a 5th grader, a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, and a 4-year-old. It’s going well, but it’s scary, too. I choose to take each days, each week, each month as they come.

    I’m curious why you are full-time homeschooling again after previous years of not doing it.

    1. The main reason that they attended the little Christian school they did for 2 years, 3 days a week was so that I could maintain my sanity. Newborn twins + a toddler are a lot! I loved their school, and it worked well for us to do that hybrid, but I didn’t love the drive, and I didn’t love the long school hours and the fact that, 3 days, a week I didn’t get to see them very much. So, now that things are a little less nuts, and they are pretty well-established in their ability to work independently, after praying about it, I really just felt like I’d rather they stay home. I put the question to them, and, as much as they loved their school and their friends, they both said that they preferred to be homeschooled. So, here we are!

      And 8 years! That’s awesome and inspiring (but I get what you mean about the scary part).

  5. I think it is awesome that you have a big family and homeschool! Praying your homeschooling goes well, Abbie. My mom homeschooled me and my 8 siblings. I’m so thankful she did. My youngest brother is a senior this year!

  6. What a fun shoot! Your kids are adorable. We’re a month in to our first year of homeschooling – I’m doing Kindergarten with my 5 year old and the 3 and 1 year old are just tagging along. We’re enjoying to so far!

  7. Hello. We have eight from ages almost 14 – 5 weeks. Five are in school. It is a ball. Yes, it is hard work. However, it is a true labor of love. We have always had our children with us. We are in week three. Each week we gain more confidence and momentum. I will be praying for you. Many blessings!!

  8. We are starting week 2! I have a 2nd & a 1st grader and 2 little people running around 🙂 Hope you have a great first day and year!!

  9. First I want to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. We are a homeschooling family who is on our 6th week for this year. My kids weren’t happy with the shortened summer but we have a vacation coming up and then I am having #4 in two months (and will need some adjustment time) so I wanted to build in extra time off around the baby. We’ve been homeschooling for 7 years!

  10. Yay! We are going on week 3 today! I think now that we are on year 3 of homeschooling I am kind of getting into a groove… Until of course something changes and I get totally out of my groove! I love your blog! If is nice to come to a place where homeschooling and having lots of babies is normal 😉

    1. Ha! I feel far from “normal” most days, but I’ll take it! 🙂 Glad you’re reading (and schooling) along with me!

  11. This is awesome! We started schooling last week because we are going on vacation next week, so the timing worked better than our normal Labor Day start. Our number 6 is 15 months now, so I’m hopeful this year will be a little simpler without a newborn! Good luck Mama. You got this!

  12. We start homeschooling today too! It’s our second year. We’re doing a co-op for the first time ever. My three will be taking a Spanish class (once a week). And I have to volunteer to be a helper in another class. I’m kind of nervous! My kids are 17 (not homeschooled), 10, 7, & 5. And I’m 13 weeks with baby #5.

    1. I think we’ll try a homeschool coop next year if we can squeeze it in. I love the idea of the extra socialization for my kids. And don’t sweat the volunteering! I’m sure you’ll do great. 🙂

  13. We start our first day of homeschooling too….why I still feel unprepared after 6 years is beyond me….probably to remind me it’s God who teaches if I just follow His lead!! How we need him in this journey! Praying for you and I’ll take some prayers too 😉

    Great pictures BTW….bunch of cuties!!

  14. Love reading your blog! We are from tyler and have a few mutual friends. We now live up near Dallas. We have 5 kids ages 10,8,6,4 & 2 and we homeschool as well. I will be praying for you! Homeschool is such a labor of love, especially when you are pregnant. It is fun to follow someone who has a similar take on life 🙂

    1. Who do you know that I do in Tyler, Elizabeth? You’ve piqued my curiosity! 🙂 (And I’ll be praying for you too!)

I love hearing from you guys!