There are a handful questions that I get asked on an ongoing basis, which, as I mentioned, is how Wednesday’s Day in the Life post came to fruition.

Thank y’all, by the way, for your super-sweet, supportive, solidarity-sister responses to that post. Any time you let people in that fully to your daily life, there’s at least a chance that folks are thinking less about what works for you and more about what they might do differently.

But if y’all were thinking that, you didn’t let on, and I’m just so grateful that you would take the time out of your day to let me know that my telling you about our day was helpful or encouraging in any way. I am always a little in awe that God can use me in that way at all, and it’s pretty much the best compliment I can get here on the blog.

ANYhoo, in the comments of that post, I got several repeat questions that I’ve run into before on social media and emails , etc. so I thought I might write a dedicated post to answer them in case anybody else was wondering too.




How do you find time to exercise consistently? Where are your kids while you’re doing it? How often do you exercise a week?


If you’ve read my blog for a long time, then you know that I’m an exercise instructor (have been for over 7 years now), which means that exercising is my side job. Yes, I get paid for it. And I definitely think that I’m more consistent because, well, if I don’t show, that’s a problem, right? But I do not love to exercise because I’m an instructor. I am an instructor because I love to exercise. So, it just made sense to meld the passion and the position, if that makes sense.

That said, I don’t have a lot of room for extras in my life, period, so I have pretty much whittled my teaching down to the two classes that I love the most (I used to teach everything from Hip Hop to yoga to free-style step), which are BODYPUMP and BODYCOMBAT. As much as I would love to branch out more and do different/fun/challenging forms of fitness, these are my bread and butter and work well for my full life right now.

When I’m teaching or taking a class, my kids are in the gym daycare. They don’t mind going (some days they’re actually excited; some days, they’re like, “Aw, the gym again?”). It’s a chance for socialization with other kids. And I’m pleased with both the staff and the facilities.

I clock an average of 5-8 hours a week at the gym and am there 3-5 days (5 is very unusual and probably means that I had to sub someone’s class). You’ll pretty much always find me there Monday-Wednesday afternoons when I teach or am already in town for piano lessons, and anything after that, I play by ear.


What homeschool curriculum do you use?


I had planned to write a dedicated post on this some day, and I probably still will, but I am getting asked this so often lately that I figured I would just throw the sources out there and then go more in depth at a later date.

There wasn’t one prepackaged box curriculum that I felt completely sold on (I’ve gone that route in the past and just didn’t end up using a lot of it), so I hand-picked our subjects this time around, based on recommendations, research, and reviews. And I have to say that I’m pleased with how things are turning out.

Below is the list of resources for what we use:

Horizons Math

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind

Apologia Science (supplemented by these awesome Christian Liberty Nature Readers)

Bob Jones Reading

Sylvan Workbooks

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child (we use the audiobooks)

Route 66: A Trip Through the 6 Books of the Bible

We also do Spanish (which I am teaching them using a variety of resources that are too numerous and random to list)

I make their spelling lists each week using this site, and we quiz each Friday.

We don’t have a specific handwriting program (although I’m totally open to suggestions), but we do practice with copy-work for things like poems and their weekly Bible memorization verse (I use to print out customized, traceable, lined practice sheets).

I’m sure there is more we can/will work in in the future, but for now, this list + lots of independent reading (they’ve both recently plowed through several abridged versions of classics like Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Last of the Mohicans, and Tale of Two Cities) keep us hopping!


WHERE are you putting Baby #6 in your vehicle?? What kind of vehicle do you drive?


We drive a 2007 Honda Odyssey. It’s certainly nothing super fancy, but I L-O-V-E it (um, hello, remote controlled sliding doors!!!) and am not giving it up until we can’t fit one more soul inside (legally, of course). So, at this point, we are planning to do some creative arranging of kiddos to fill every single last seat in the back and see how it goes.

Yes, it will be a tight fit, especially with so many car seats. But we think we can make it work. Plus, we’re all pretty used to being up in each others’ grills and having no personal space, so what’s a little more togetherness, right?

The only thing I’m worried about at this point is the epic throw-down the kids are going to have about who gets to sit next to their new baby brother!


And that’s a wrap!

If you have more questions for me (I have this niggling feeling that I’ve forgotten one of the most obvious ones, but I’m not coming up with it at the moment), ask away!

Chances are that others have them too, and I’ll be happy to answer them in a later Q&A round-up post.

Just to get the ball rolling, the most common topics of curiosity seem to be:

Why do you have so many kids? (I’ve already got a post 95% written about this.  You’ll see it soon.)

More homeschooling

Babies and child-birthing in general


Balancing “it all”

If none of those are your cup of tea, feel free to ask anything else, and I’ll do my best to quench your thirst for knowledge. 🙂





  1. I’m anxiously awaiting your “Why do you have so many kids?” post! I read this Q and A post when you first posted it, but I’m just now getting around to asking you a question!

    How do those close to you feel about (or communicate to you how they feel about) your decisions about family size? Does it bother you when their ideas conflict with yours?

    We are a family with 5 kids (ages 4-12), but we are open to more if God brings them along. In other words, no birth control but not “trying” either. It’s all in His hands. We have learned not to care what random strangers think about us and we’re getting tough skin about friends’ and acquaintances’ comments, too, but it’s a little harder when it’s involves people whose opinions we value (think our parents and siblings) When they share their negative views or insensitive thoughts, it gets a little personal.

    I’m not seeking advice. I’m just curious if other people deal with that and how they handle it.

  2. Ever since I wandered across Mandy’s blog and then through her, yours, I have made sure to keep up on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your children are absolutely adorable – I’m just not sure how you and Shaun could not just melt and give those three girls everything! – and you inspire me with your faith and being able to handle it all without having a meltdown.

    My question is, how do you take time for community with women friends or for yourself? As a mama of teens, it seems harder now than when they were little to find just that little bit of time to rejuvenate that doesn’t require me to go into bed and pass out.

    1. Well, I don’t have much time to myself, that’s for sure. I consider my gym time a sort of rejuvenating experience, even though I’m physically tired when I get done. So that helps.

      And then, I have a very small core group of friends (like 3) with whom I get together every so often (honestly, it’s about once a month at most) for a girls’ night, and we always have good conversations about important things and try to pray for and encourage each other.

      Those hold me over for a good long while.

      Other than that, I am with my family/husband, and I’m fine with that for now. I would love to be more plugged in to a community of women in the future–in my case that would look like a homeschool co-op, probably. But for now, I’m okay with the little breaks I get, which help me regain perspective and regroup.

  3. I really did enjoy your Q&A post, Abbie! Just one more question: how do you decide when to do everything? I think that’s the hardest part of crafting a schedule that works for me, figuring out what goes best when!

    1. I think, at this point, my approach to scheduling is fairly organic and revolves mostly around nap/eating times. Also, knowing when we have to leave the house for the gym, etc. helps keep me on track.

      Our days aren’t strictly structured, but neither are they willy-nilly and there are lots of repetitive elements so that most things seem to fall in a natural place. Does that make sense or did I even answer what you’re asking?

  4. I just recently found your blog while searching for homebuilding blogs and fell in love 🙂 We have a lot in common…homeschooling, working out (though I’ll admit that I like the effects of working out much more than the actual working out, LOL) and enjoying fashion, decorating, travel and budgeting. Just wanted to say hi (hi!) and thanks for sharing bits of your life with us!

  5. This was great!

    As a homeschooler also, I greatly appreciated that curriculum part! I have dabbled in a couple of those, but as thinking of looking into a few others that you mentioned! Thanks so much for sharing that!

    People still ask “WHY you have so many kids?” At Co Op yesterday, the three of us who “only” have four were saying how we love being in a place where that is the case…at our table is a mom of 8 and two moms of 6… It’s awesome!

    I love hearing about birthing and child rearing and homeschool talk (although, sometimes if TOO much is discussed about homeschooling the ugly “comparison” monster rears it’s head and I start second guessing myself 😛 Still, a little dabble here and there on it is very nice 🙂

    I think we are just at the point where we need weekly belly shots…getting SO CLOSE 🙂

    1. Definitely the simple answer and the most important one, but the questions I’m getting asked are more about my philosophy for having lots of kids, so that requires a little more explanation.

  6. The Type A, list-maker in me loves Q&A posts. Thanks for sharing! Your list of topics at the end reminded me of childbirth advice you gave me before my first (“relax your bottom”–can I say that on the internets? Haha). Best advice I received. Two natural births later and I still give that advice to friends. Your willingness to be open and share blesses others!

    And while this comment is so long, your kitchen looks fantastic. Love it.

I love hearing from you guys!