My life as a young wife to one, a mother to many and a flawed yet faithful follower of Christ.


Meet the Farmhouse Kids 2: Maddie Jo

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on July 3, 2013 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (2)

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Happy Mothers Day

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on May 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The Story of MY Mom!

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Our Love Story

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on April 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (5)

In honor of our TWELFTH wedding anniversary.......

click below:

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A Day in the Life of.....

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on April 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (2)

I have been trying to come up with an easy way to do "A Day in the Life of a Homeschooling Mom of 6", but doing a video just isn't going to happen!  I attempted it today and I got to about 7am (when all the kids started waking up and rallying forces) and I just didn't have the time to capture much of anything on video.

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(Link to my account - click the photo)

Soooooo.... since I have just re-discovered Instagram I thought I would give it a try that way.  Next week sometime I will be Instagram-ing an entire day to give you a glimpse of what goes on in a busy homeschooling home of 8.  If you would like to take a peek inside our day just follow me on Instagram. (My handle is "afarmhousefull" and I am a public account so just hit the follow button and you will be automatically following me.)  I am hoping to do it next week so keep a look out.  I will start it out with a Instagramed note of some sort so you know I have officially "started" my day.

This should be interesting......  I will see ya there!

E's 7 Month Schedule

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on April 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (1)

So....... I typed up a wonderful word post about E's schedule (requested on a comment), but lost it when my computer died......

I decided to try vlogging it instead since I was running out of "quiet time" to get a blog post out to you. 

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What do you think?  More vlogs in the future?  I am kinda digging the "conversational flow" and feeling like I am sitting with a friend instead of typing it all out.

Random Recap: April 2013

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on April 4, 2013 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (5)

Wow, 2 months since and "actual" post......that is record of no-activity for me.....I think?  Even if it is not, it is still a long time to keep y'all hanging.  I apologize.  Life has been busy. Priorities were shifted.  As I mentioned before, writing about my life in this blog, while fun, takes a back seat to actually living my life with my kiddos.  And we have been doing some living lately.  You have probably guessed that a "Random Recap" is in order.   So here is the condensed version of my last two months:

   My baby is SIX months old!  Say whaaaaa????? Yeah, I know, right?!  Mike's super sperm has proven to produce super babies because "Little E" started army crawling at about four months (NO joke!), by five months he was lifting his tummy off the floor practicing his "baby push ups",  and at six months (the first half of six months) figured out how to put it all together and is full-fledged crawling now.  Lord, help me!  No, really.....please help me keep up with 6 mobile children on a daily basis! 

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{Yep, that is the end of the non-mobile stage}

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{He can't get enough of his siblings!}

  My youngest son is a spitting image of my oldest son. Don't believe me, look for yourself!  I think I had the same baby twice!

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{AJ on the left in early 2003, Ezra on the right in early 2013!)

  We FINALLY had a little bit of snow this year.  Right when I was SO ready for winter to be over we got 12" of the white fluffy.  It was followed up by almost 60 degree days and it was a weird phenomenon being able to have a snowball fight while wearing a T shirt.  Really weird!  We took advantage of it and made a huge snowman, snow ice cream and enjoyed far too many snowball wars.

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{Snow Ice Cream (and yeah, we added chocolate syrup!).....Thank you, Pinterest!}

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{Just the beginning of our 12" March snowfall!}

  Two of my children received glasses.  Both are doing really well with them and I am thinking after Maddie goes in for her consult, she will end up needing some too. Esotropia runs in our family BIG time.  Half of our kids have been plagued by it to one extent or another.  My oldest had surgery at the age of 3.  He may need it again.  We will find out in May.

  Although I have been continuing to loose the baby weight, I am starting to get lazy on the clean eating because I am growing content.  I am only 3 pounds away from my High School weight and 7 away from my goal weight.  I need to push through and finish so I don't drag it out indefinitely.  I am so proud of myself for finally putting my treadmill to GOOD, HARD use. 

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{photo taken to text to my acountablility partner, Lauren so she is certain I my butt was on my treadmill.  Lauren, BTW, is doing AM-AZ-ING!}

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{a couple of weeks ago, with about 11 pounds left to loose}

  School is going GREAT this year and it has probably been one of my most productive years thanks to the planning I so diligently accomplished last summer.  It has worked so well that I am convicted to do the same this summer and have already started to get our supply list and curriculum choices pinned down. I will do another post on this in the future.

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{Maple Sirup Days (yes, that is spelled right...google it!).  We were blessed to have Papa H. come along!}

  I have TOTALLY given up on "a picture a day".  We have just too much going on. Sometimes I remember and other times (okay, most times!) I forget.  Again, priorities.  I am not going to stress about tossing that to the way side. 

  I am starting to toss around some blog post ideas for you all.  Some will be done in video format, because, honestly, sometimes it just faster for me to video tape something then to have to type it all out (and inevitably misspell every other word, leave out complete phrases and completely botch punctuations solely because my brain runs 25x faster than my mouth can even keep up, let alone my poor typing fingers. Some ideas I have stirring in my noggin are:

  • Homemade eye makeup remover (LOVE this)
  • Schedule update
  • My chore pack system
  • Curriculum contenders for 2013-2014
  • School budget for 2013-2014

Any other topics you would like to hear me rattle my jaw about?






New Year's 2013

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on January 9, 2013 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Talk of New Year resoultions tend to be all the buzz this first week in January.  While I don’t normally make them, for some reason I decided to make a list of habits and goals to work on in this year 2013.  


Photo Albums -  I am SO behind in making photo albums it is pathetic.  Truly pathetic.  Like you-would-think-I-only-have-two-kids-pathetic.  Our THIRD child hasn’t even made his debut in our photo albums yet….and our SIXTH child is already 3 months old. Wow, that is so shameful.  NO. MORE. EXCUSES.  This year I will complete every album up to 2012.  Yep, I said WILL (not “will try”).  Go big or go home, right?  So far I am already impressed in the steps I have taken.  I have uploaded EVERY photo from 2007-2011 and have an idea of what my albums will look like.  A year or two ago I had planned to make photo books from an online store and even designed two years worth of books.  I had made a few smaller ones before and they always turned out beautifully.  Only problem is that with the amount of photos that I crammed into the big yearly ones they ended up costing almost $100 a book.  So were talking $700 worth of photo albums to catch up! Have I ever mentioned that I am CHEAP frugal?  Yeah, $700 wasn’t going to happen!  Plan B - 12x12 scrapbooks purchased at Hobby Lobby with my handy dandy 40% coupon.  They are expandable and editable.  Which means in a year when I am sitting down looking through them and I find that inevitable misspelled word (I am a horrible speller!) or wrong date I can remove that page, correct it, and put it back.  I can also add photos that I may have forgotten if I find them after the fact. I am planning on using plain solid color page inserts and 4x6 photos with simple black handwritten journaling.  No stickers, no borders, no embellishments; keeping it simple, timeless and EASY.  Easy is the only way it will ever get done!


Photos – After comparing my photos from before 2011 to after 2011 there is a MARKED difference!  Prior to 2011 I have crisp, colorful, artful photos.  After 2011 I have only iphone photos…..not too pretty.  Sure the iphone has a decent camera, but ALL the photos?  I also realized that about the same time I got my iphone I lost my lens cap to my favorite SLR lens.  I stopped taking it with me places because I was afraid that the lens would get scratched.  Tonight I purchased a $9 fix (new lens cap) and I am excited to keep my SLR in a handy, reachable spot in the house so that I can start using it more often.


Crappy, blurry iphone Christmas photo


Pre-iphone Christmas photo......

Any questions?

Photo a day – I am challenging myself to post weekly “Photo a Day” blog posts every Sunday and at the end of the year I will have 52 weeks worth of everyday photos.  A bloggy friend of mine did it last year and it was so fun to follow her through it!  I plan on turning these into mini books and make a copy for each of the children for when they get older. Heck this sounds like an AWESOME tradition if I can keep it up.


Journal – I am going to write down all those funny, adorable things my kids say down.  I think I will never forget, but alas I always do. Darn “Mommy-brain”!  I plan on including these little quotes in my family photo albums.  


Weight – I said I would give myself 3 months to “let it go” and then it was time to start shedding the baby weight.  Well 3 months is up and I plan on start doing something to loose the last bit of pregnancy weight and end up at my hi gh school weight.  I have 4 more pounds left to go to pre-pregnancy from Ezra, and there are 16 pounds that are hanging around from my 2nd pregnancy that I have claimed ever since.  So my goal is to loose 20 pounds and have it off by my 31st birthday in May.


Me in March 2001, 17 years old trying on my wedding dress. TWENTY pounds lighter....ugggg.....

Hospitality - We used to host game nights with friends and have family over for dinner quite frequently.  With each added child it has gotten harder and harder to “host” things.  I miss it.  I would love to do it more whether or not it is difficult to do so.  God’s grace with fill the gaps where I can’t be a great host because I am wiping up the second spilled glass of milk from one of my monkeys.  My goal is one "hosting" event a month.


What are your New Year’s resolutions?



Christmas 2012

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on January 7, 2013 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I am so sad to say I didn’t take many photo of Christmas at ALL.  UGGHH….  I seem to be so busy that I forget to capture things.  I am getting worse and worse….NEED TO REMEMBER TO PICK UP A CAMERA!  And every photo I have is a cell phone photo. Bad photographer, BAD!  That is actually one of my 2013 habits/resolutions (later post) I am working on.  So here are a few photographs from Christmas 2012.


The kiddos on Christmas morning.


My sister, Jenni, my momma, Roberta and me.


Waiting patiently to open gifts!


One of Maddie's most very favorite people, Uncle Bobby.


My brother, Michael, Me and my sis, Jenni.


Christmas Eve


Random Recap December 2012

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on January 5, 2013 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Sorry I have been away....we have had a busy couple of weeks!  Time for a Random Recap? YEPPERS!


  • We had a great Christmas, spending Christmas Eve with Mike’s family, Christmas afternoon with my extended family and Christmas night with my family.
  • Christmas morning we always reserve for just the eight of us.  Christmas with a large family is always exciting and almost always includes lots of squealing and laughter, paper flying with abandon and two large cups of coffee for mom and dad!  
  • A few days before Christmas I started playing around with sample paint colors for our living room.  Remember those book shelves we got for FREE that needed painted (like back in MAY!), well I finally got around to painting them in our break from school.  Once those were painted I started in on the walls (I have had half a dozen paint chips taped to my wall for MONTHS).  Which lead to changing everything else! Okay, not everything; but it is a totally different look in there now, much lighter and brighter.  When does painting a room ever end in JUST paint?  Can I get an “amen”, ladies?  I CAN’T WAIT to reveal it to you!
  • A few days after Christmas and in the middle of our impromptu living room redo we all got the influenza virus that lasted until, well… we still aren’t 100% over it yet! YUCK! If you are part of a large family then you can understand how yucky it is when EVERYONE is sick and it last for what seems like FOREVER!  Makes you really appreciate feeling well!
  • New Year’s is traditionally spent at the lake house, but this year we decided to go to my sister’s place and help her and her family with a bathroom remodel.  Although with her having the flu and all 8 of us with it, it did not happen. So we stayed here and it was one of the most boring New Year’s Eves  in history…..but it was quiet and restful which is what we needed at that time.  So boring it was!
  • Speaking of my sister…..SHE IS PREGNANT!!!! They had such a hard time getting pregnant with their first little girl and ended up using a small dose of fertility meds to achieve it.  They have been trying for years now and they just found out they are pregnant!!!!! AHHHHH! So happy for them!  Can’t wait to find out if I am going to be blessed with another beautiful niece or a nephew!  GOD IS GOOD! 9987957F-F1B4-4D6A-8CAF-846956EB1719-1671-000001BAB4DBEF47.jpg

  • We are 1/3 of the way through this school year and I usually take Christmas/NY break to evaluate what is working and what is not.  I will do a separate post on homeschooling update soon.  Most of what we are doing is working well but I do plan on changing a few things up.
  • I have never really made resolutions before but this year I started a list of habits and projects that I want to work on in 2013.  This will also be a separate post. I am excited to incorporate them into my daily habits over the next dozen months.  


So I think that catches you up in a nutshell! How was your Christmas/New Years?



Sleeping Babies

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on December 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (2)

Getting a baby to sleep in a house filled with lots of noise is sometimes a challenging feat.  Our last two babies have been VERY light sleepers.  Babies 1-4 could have easily slept through a bomb raid; babies 5 and 6 awoke at the slightest things (unless they were already in deep sleep).  The fact that these light sleepers were the most recent additions to our family has its advantages and disadvantages.  The biggest disadvantage is the extra noise.  With each child the noise and chaos of our home has increased a bit.  It isn't like monkeys swinging from the ceiling fans, but I do have 6 kids playing, talking, learning, laughing and the like all over the house all day long.  It is just a fact of life with a house full of kids.  I can't expect the older kids to walk on eggshells all the time....they're CHILDREN after all; and children I will allow them to be.  But there is an advantage to having the light sleepers as child #5 and child #6.....my skill level is ever increasing with each child, as is my patience.  I am always amazed at the amount of people who say to me "You must have been born a very patient person". WHOA, you’re talking about ME....patient?  HA! Ask my parents; patient I was not!  God obviously wanted to fix that little flaw in me and did so by downloading the patience package into my operating system via Children6.0!  While He has greatly improved that attribute in me, He has much work left to do!  Although it is so hard to consider myself a "seasoned" mommy to babies (because it makes me feel OLD!!!), I will offer you some tips and advise on babies, sleeping habit and "spoiling" from my "seasoned-mommy" brain.

Getting a baby to sleep

First try the 5 S’s – Google it if you have never heard of them….they are life savers!  I will list 3 of them because the others, I find, are only needed in cases of colic or a way overly tired, overly stimulated, cranky baby.  

Swaddling – This works SO well I have listed it first.  I have heard many people say that their babies don’t like it.  I presume most of them aren’t doing it right.  While there may be a baby or two in existence that DON’T like to be swaddled, they are the exception not the rule.  Learn how to do a good TIGHT swaddle from an experienced mother or neonatal nurse.  The big idea of a swaddle is that it has to be TIGHT!  The babies where crammed in a nice, warm and SMALL womb for 9 months; they are used to the movement restrictions.  In fact most of the time my newborns would awaken themselves because they would “startle” and their arm movements jolted their bodies, waking them up for good.  

Sucking – Some babies just like to suck.  Ever seen a baby sound asleep at the breast or a bottle and then you remove said apparatus from their little mouths to lay them down (because of course they are OUT) and their little eyes pop WIDE open?  For some babies sucking is synonymous with sleep. Go with it.  Most of the time they will drop the pacifier or you may remove it if you are so inclined once they are sound asleep.  I would suggest a pacifier being used as a tool while they are small and not carried over into toddlerhood (or beyond), but again…do what works.  That five year old with a pacifier will eventually give it up, guaranteed.  Sometimes as parents we need to pick our battles.

Side or Tummy – Most babies prefer their side or tummy to sleep on.  Guidelines today say you are not suppose to sleep them on anything but their backs, so weigh your own conscience and good sense with this one.  If tummy positioning seems to help my fussy babies I make sure they are on a flat (FIRM) surface with no loose bedding and I stay close to them checking them often.  Also, they can always just sleep on their tummy on you…another excuse to sit down and do nothing but snuggle and smell that oh-so-soft baby head!


Other Tid Bits


Lack of Sleep. Just get used to it! (Sorry,  but I am gonna’ tell it how it is, sister!) Stop comparing your hours of sleep now with your pre-kid hours of sleep.  Try not to be irritated that you must awaken all hours of the night for various reasons…this is a short season.  It is a blessing to have a baby to be up with, try to be thankful for that.  I know it is easier said then done.  It became a WHOLE lot easier, actually, for me to do so with our “surprise” blessing.  Ezra really wasn’t suppose to be here (by our planning) and I fell so head over heel with him in those first few days that I would actually SMILE and beam when I got up at night with him marveling at how I couldn’t imagine not being able to snuggle this little baby!  So, my advice here is just to give of yourself joyfully to the service of motherhood.  Lack of a sleep is not going to go away by complaining and being angry about it.  It is a fact of life with a new baby.  My advice for this comes from a Little House on the Prairie book that is often quoted around my home: “What must be done is best done cheerfully.”

Nap schedule.  Don’t get so wound up over “schedules”.  Think of it more as a routine.  From about one to three months your baby will have random sleeping/awake/eating times.  This is normal.  It may differ from day to day.  Go with it.  I have found that once they are awake for longer periods of time (6 weeks +) most babies will fall into a E.A.S.(Y.) schedule (you can google “EASY schedule” for more info).  Eat. Awake. Sleep. (Yourself – time for yourself)  So for instance, if he wakes and eats, he will be awake or a short period of time and then get tired and sleep for a bit.  And the cycle starts again.  So if you notice your baby is getting a bit fussy an hour or so after they eat he may not be hungry again, but tired.  Try swaddling and snuggling (and giving a pacifier maybe) him and see if those cute little eyelids start to get heavy.  It is a lot easier to transfer a baby from arm to crib successfully if they are tightly swaddled (see below). Once babies are about 3-4 months old they will start taking longer, more routine naps.  Right now Ezra is 3 months exactly and he usually takes a morning nap (9ish), an afternoon nap (1ish) and another one around dinner time (6ish).  He also takes cat naps here and there but this is his general (longer) nap schedule.  As they get a bit older 6 months + they start to drop either the afternoon nap or the evening one, keeping two naps per day.  Then again at about 9-15 months they will drop the morning nap and take a longer nap after lunch.  Eventually they will stop napping (2-4 years), but we do have a rule here at the Farmhouse that if you are not yet school aged (Kindergarten) then you must have a nap or quiet time in the afternoon (1pm-3pm).  Most of my older nappers end up falling asleep at this time.  

Nurse them.  Not sure if this works the same with a bottle, as all my babies have been tried and true booby babies, but you can try.  Nursing will always send my babies into a sleepy milk-induced coma if they are even a little bit tired.  

The Swing. If all else fails put them in the swing.  Some babies just adore these things and it works like an instant sleeping pill.  

Co-sleep. Again this is one of those “not-suppose-to-do-things” from the pediatrician, so do this at your own discretion.  I am a light sleeper (even when very tired) and I sleep with them in the crook of my arm so that I would basically have to break my arm to roll over them.  I also sleep with my knee jutted out so that if my husband rolls he would hit my knee first.  I would NEVER recommend co-sleeping if you are deep sleeper or move around a lot in your sleep.  Mike would be a danger to the kids if he were to try it! If you are comfortable doing so, co-sleeping lets mom AND baby sleep more restfully.  I have co-slept with all of my kids from newborn till about 6 weeks and then off and on (whenever convenient) until they are sleeping LONG stretches (like 8-10 hours) which usually happens anywhere from 3-9 months, depending on the baby.  At that point they are moved into their room and into their own crib. Up until then they sleep in a small crib in the master bedroom.  

Gas. My kids never really had too much of an issue with gas, so I have little advise for you there.  If you nurse your baby from the breast it seems to lessen gas (because there is no air inside your breast for them to swallow), although I have had times where the baby gulps so quickly they can end up with some LARGE belches.  After about ½ the feed, raise baby to your shoulder pat their backs and rub from middle of the back to the top, leaning them slightly forward and back once or twice.  Usually this will get a solid burp out.  I have heard gas drops work well too although I don’t have experience with them either.  


MOST IMPORTANTLY – ENJOY THEM!!! You can NOT spoil a newborn!  They are only small for such a short period of time.  Enjoy them, snuggle them, kiss them, SMELL them, rock them, keep them close to you, wear them in a carrier all day. You will not ruin them if you do.  They can not get too much love and affection at this age.  They need, want and crave you. Give yourself to them fully and with a cheerful countenance.  They are one of the greatest gifts given to us in this broken world, so enjoy them!    

Side Note: This blog was written a day or two before the school shooting but I believe it makes the last paragraph even more important (for your older kids as well).  We never know when our last day or when their last day is.  My heart breaks for the families of those lost on December 14.  I am sure none of them thought that the goodbye kiss in front of the school bus or the lunch they packed or the words they said would have been their last to their precious children.  I can not imagine their pain.  May God hold all of them tight and comfort them in their grief.  May God bring His glory from this tragedy as I know that everything that happens will reveal His glory even if, with our finite minds, we don't see or understand it. 



About Me:


Hey y'all! Welcome to our family blog. We are a large, loud and Jesus loving family from the rural Midwest. I am Nicci, also know around these parts as "mom" to my brood of a half dozen and as "babe" to my handsome other half.  We live on a handful of acres and have raised chicken, pigs, bees, tomatoes and most importantly our rowdy bunch of kidlets.  We cloth diaper, homeschool, DIY, and try to eat as "homemade" as possible.  My ratio of hobbies verses free time is COMPLETELY unbalanced.  I enjoy crocheting, knitting, sewing, designing, drawing, using power tools, and anything else that involves creating. I also love to decorate and organize when time and money allow - but come on now, it is hard to make it to the bathroom without little people following 2 steps behind me and my grocery bill is comparable to a mortgage payment!  It is a busy, challenging and sometimes chaotic life managing a larger than normal family but ultimately one of God's greatest blessings that I am immensely grateful for!  In no way have I "arrived" or  "figured it all out", but I am humbled to be able to share my experience with others!

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