Large Family, Little House: The Mud Room and Kitchen

Dave Ramsey Living, Family, Large Family Life, organization, Uncategorized By 11/07/2016 No Comments

I had a stay-at-home mom for most of my childhood and adolescence.  I don’t have any memories of our house being messy or the sink being full of dishes.  I don’t really recall my mom doing laundry, yet my laundry was always washed and returned to my room after school each day.  As a result, I waltzed into marriage with no clue what I was doing.  I didn’t really know how to cook and I had no idea how to manage a household:  cleaning, laundry, maintenance, tips and tricks, nothing.  Now I will say that I was always a neat and tidy kid and teenager.  I enjoyed keeping my room clean and I regularly rearranged the furniture in my room completely by myself…which could explain some of my current back issues. lol!  But as far as logistics, methods, and skills, particularly in the kitchen–I had nothing.


Large Family, Little House

children, Dave Ramsey Living, Family, Homestead, Large Family Life, organization, Uncategorized By 11/02/2016 No Comments

Hi!  Thanks for stopping by! I’m excited to give you a glimpse into our daily life.  Large families seem to be a bit of a mystery to some people.  I get questions like, How do you do it all?  Do you have a big house?  What do you drive?  How many bedrooms do you have?  Are you super organized? So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to those of you who are new around here and give you a tour of our three bedroom trailer, affectionately called the Meadow Cottage, and share how we live comfortably as a large family in a little house.

A Little History

I’m Audrey and I’ve been married to my web developer husband, Josh for almost 15 years.  We have four biological sons, one biological daughter, and three adopted daughters from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  They range in age from 4 months to 13.  Two years ago we only had three sons and were in the process of adopting three sisters from DRC.  At the tail end of our adoption we were shocked to discover we were pregnant after seven years of infertility–Annie was born August 6, 2014.  In October 2015 God confirmed to us that our years of infertility were indeed over as we found out we were expecting baby number eight.


New Series **sneak peek**

children, Dave Ramsey Living, Family, Homestead, Large Family Life, Marriage, organization By 11/02/2016 No Comments

Since I’m revamping my blog and now have a new name that more appropriately fits our life I’ve decided to do a series introducing myself and my family and give you a peek into our life.

I will do a more thorough introduction in the initial post of the series but will leave you with this for now:

Follow along if you’d like to hear how our family of ten makes life work in a three bedroom trailer while we pay off debt and build our dream house–ourselves.  I’ll give you a tour of the trailer, affectionately called the Meadow Cottage, and share all the things that make life easier and more enjoyable on our little slice of farmland.


Happy New School Year!

adoption, children, Homeschooling, Parenting By 08/01/2016 No Comments

This is always an exciting time of year.  Planning is complete, new books have been purchased, and the new school schedule/routine is in the final tweaking stage.  Ready or not, our first day of school begins in about nine hours!  This year is going to be very different for our family.  Half of our school-age children will be at home and half will be in school.  Our girls have been home now for a year and a half.  They’ve come so incredibly far over the past 18 months.  They’ve learned to speak English, they’ve adjusted to a new culture, food, and family, they’ve made friends, and they completed a year of homeschooling.  But the fact is, they’re now 6, 6, and 8 and they have no prior education and the past year has been very difficult.  Books and methods that have worked with my other children have not been successful with the girls.  None of them are reading yet, despite trying very hard (Mom and children!) and the longer they’re home the more overwhelmed I get while realizing just how much they’ve missed by not being in a family for the last several years of their life.  As a result, we decided to put the girls in school for a year.  At the end of this school year we will re-evaluate.  The ultimate goal is to bring them back home.  We’re a homeschooling family but right now, this year, we’re calling in reinforcements!  We live out in the country.  Our local public elementary school is in the middle of farm land and peach orchards.  There are less than 250 students in the entire school and they have wonderful intervention specialists that can help us identify where the girls need special help and can get them started with the right tools for success. To be quite honest, I also had a bit of a revelation a few months ago when trying to decide what would be best for the girls for the coming school year.  I’ve never been able to just be their mom.


Food Budget Reform

Uncategorized By 06/03/2016 No Comments

Many years ago I had the privilege of meeting Mary Ostyn from Owl Haven, at a Created  for Care retreat.  She’s a lovely lady, fellow adoptive mom, and mother of ten.  I read her book A Sane Woman’s Guide To Raising a Large Family while we were in Africa getting ready to bring the girls home.  I had been eye-balling her money-saving cookbook for years but never took the plunge until recently when I received an email from a friend who is expecting baby number seven just a couple of months behind me.


Our Beautiful New Reality

Uncategorized By 09/04/2015 No Comments

I’ve been blogging in my mind for weeks now.  About a month and a half ago I began to feel myself coming out of the fog.  It was a familiar place in which I lived for about four months after the girls came home.  You see, we packed up and sold our house of almost ten years less than a month before our girls came home.  We downsized from our 2,000 square foot brick ranch to a mobile home.  We have some dear friends who have a large farm and are letting us live in a double wide on their property rent-free while we get out of debt.  Our adoption put enormous financial stress on us over the past three years and we have a lot of debt to pay off.  Most of it was accumulated before we began our adoption, but needless to say, nothing got paid off over the last three years and then we acquired more during our trip to bring the girls home.