14 Course Meal

The youth in our ward were given a quarantine challenge to help keep them busy this spring/summer. One of the things on there was an n course meal where n is the number of people in your family. We added in Cameron and ended up with 14 courses. We had our meal yesterday afternoon. It was both fun and delicious!

(carrots and dip by Adrian, cheese cubes by A, Grapes by E, New England Clam Chowder by Baby B)

(bread and butter by Fritz, applesauce by Baby A, sherbet by N, salad by Jamie)

(buffalo cream cheese celery by my dad, lemon friend chicken and broccoli by my mom and mac and cheese by Adrian, brie and crackers by Ani)

(crepes and nutella by Cameron, Milky Ways by me, and sparkling cider by M)


Second Middle Names

We are giving The Six second middle names when we adopt them. This is not without precedent in our family. Fritz is Frederick David Harold because Jamie’s dad (first name Harold) died while I was pregnant with Fritz. So The Six will have two middle names like their big brother.

E’s will be Ezekiel. This is because my dad had a hard time remembering his actual name when we first had them over and kept calling him Ezekiel. And with his amazing hair, I kind of imagine the prophet Ezekiel looking a bit like my boy.

M’s will be Kerry. I was in the temple one day before we even got the twins and the person I had was a distant aunt or cousin or something. Carrie. She tried to convince me I must name a child after her. Eventually we agreed that if I was ever able to name a little girl, I would name her Kerry, but spell it that way because Jamie’s mom lives on the border of counties Limerick and Kerry and my best friend in elementary school was named Kerry.

A’s will be John. My uncle was named John Ralph (he went by Ralph). Ani was working in the temple once and, well, Uncle Ralph wanted A specifically to be named after him.

N’s will be Alexander. When I was pregnant with Adrian I narrowed his name options to Adrian, Alexander, and Christopher and let Ani pick. So now I get to use Alexander after all.

Baby A’s will be Christopher. So I get to use that one, too.

Baby B’s will be Malachi. It just seemed fitting for the youngest of ten to have that name. Also, when my best friend was here at Christmas she kept joking that we needed to name a kid after her. We’re not doing that, but Malachi is a name she always wanted to give a child AND she and Baby B super bonded so in a way we are naming a kid after her.

In a bizarre twist, Cameron shares a middle name with one of The Six (also Jamie’s middle name), another has Jamie’s first name as his middle name, and another shares a first middle name with Fritz (which is also my brother’s name).

We are also strongly considering adding a second middle name for Ani and Adrian (Cameron does not want to). We don’t know what we’ll pick for Adrian, but Ani’s will likely be Michelle after my sister.

Because my kids are awesome…

They gave my some awesome Mother’s Day presents yesterday.

This week was Adrian’s turn to give the talk/lesson/spiritual thought during our home Sacrament Meeting. He wrote his talk himself and it was all about how important I am and how much I do. He did a great job and will always get to be one of the few kids who gave their very first Sacrament Meeting talk at home.


(In our home church, dress clothes are required for 10 and up, but shoes are optional.)

Ani, Fritz, and Adrian got together and ordered a personalized message for me from Corbin Bernsen. He played Henry Spencer on Psych. I LOVE Psych. It ended up being really long and was totally awesome. Like the awesomest thing ever, really.


And Cameron, my wonderful second born Cameron, gave me this most fabulous mug and filled it with Milk Way bars (my current favorite candy bar). I got a big laugh out of what the mug says.


My To-Be-Kids are Really Close in Age

The Six are really close in age. It’s really kind of crazy to think about.

E and M are 16 months and 19 days apart.
M and A are 11 months and 16 days apart.
A and N are 11 months and 20 days apart.
And N and the twins are 11 months and 22 days apart.

I thought Ani and Cameron were close at 19 months and 18 days. This spacing makes my incinerated uterus hurt all the way from the landfill where it was put 4 years ago.

Down One Kid

On Sunday Cameron moved into his own apartment. He has assured us he will be coming for Sunday dinners and we’ll see him when we take the older two of The Six to taekwondo. He picked a one bedroom because he decided he’d rather not share if he doesn’t have to.

Now we just have to get the trim in his old bedroom – which we discovered we never finished only after he moved out – done and we’ll move Fritz and Adrian into there (it’s bigger than their current room). The two-year-old will stay where he is (in Fritz and Adrian’s room) and the one-year-old will move in with his brother (leaving the babies in our room still).

To Tie a Tie


A couple weeks ago Fritz decided to wear the dice tie he got for Christmas to church.

It’s a regular tie that needs to be tied.

Fritz had never worn a tie like that before.

All his other ties have either been clip-ons or bow ties.

So Cameron walked him through tying a tie for the first time.

Cameron had to help quite a bit for some of the steps.

But in the end Fritz had his first ever properly tied tie.

Geography: Heartland States


This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our geography topic was the heartland states.

We did mapwork.

We learned about the Great Lakes.

We learned about Chicago’s Great Fire.

We learned some facts about Indiana.

Jamie told the story of how he had to go on a business trip to Indiana four days before Adrian’s due date and I wouldn’t let him stay overnight just in case so he went for about an 18 hour day. It turned out Adrian wasn’t born until 12 days past his due date so Jamie could’ve spent two weeks in Indiana and still made it home before the kid was born.

Adrian identified all of the Great Lakes on a blank map from memory.

We added the flags of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to our passports.

Graduating Early

Cameron turned 18 in October and he’s chomping at the bit to be done with his senior year. Funny how senioritis even hits homeschooled kids.

Cameron has completed almost all the requirements for graduation except eleven units of all together work. So we made a deal. He completes what’s left at an accelerated pace and he can graduate a semester early.

I typed up his plan last week and he’s been working on it. It’s twelve pages single spaced. He’s doing the tenth unit with his brothers this week. The requirements for graduation are:

  • Read 13 audiobooks and give a summary of each
  • Make and carry out a plan for covering all the major topics and subtopics provided to him in the plan for the final ten units for history, geography, science, and the arts
  • Plan and carry out science experiments or projects for each major topic
  • Create works of art for most of the major arts topics
  • Create a detailed higher education plan for at least the next six months and a basic one for beyond that point

So, once he’s completed all that (and it is a lot), Cameron will be graduating from high school just a little early and he’s super excited about it!