Our Five Ring Circus

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Back to School in Style with Zulily


Back To School Shopping

*I received a Zulily credit for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. This post may contain affiliate links.

The back to school season with 6 kids is chaotic - and expensive! I don't mind much, though, because this moment in time is my FAVORITE moment in time. All of my kids are still under the age of 18, and we're all living under one roof!

Whenever I start to feel overly sad about Dylan and Lexie being so close to adulthood/college, I try to focus on the fact that we have four younger kids, too! It doesn't make it that much easier, but we still have so many school years ahead of us. SO many!

We are now two weeks into the school year. Time flies when you're busy! Our kids headed back to school - and into fall - with style this year!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Chat

Big Family Blogs

Happy Monday! I’m making my return to blogging with a Monday morning coffee chat. So grab your coffee or hot tea, and let’s reconnect!

The last time I posted, I shared about the last day of school, but an entire summer break has passed by in a flash. Here we are, with just two days left before the first day of school. I’m facing the school year with mixed emotions. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer!

A lot has happened in the year since we found out we were expecting our sixth baby, and clearly, my presence was needed elsewhere. But, oh how I have missed blogging! I’m excited to share all the details from this whirlwind of a year - a surprise pregnancy, a baby diagnosed with Trisomy 21 and a heart defect, a NICU stay, open heart surgery, and so much more! Hopefully my return will be permanent!

Monday, June 6, 2022

The Last Day of 3rd, 5th, 9th, and 11th Grade


Big Family blog

The last day of 3rd, 5th, 9th, and 11th Grade was over a week ago, but I’m a bit behind, as always. 2 of our 4 kids were very sad about school ending, 1 was excited, and 1 goes to school for 8 days in July. Truth be told, I think our girls would go to school year round if they could!

This school year was one of the few - if not only - years that school ended before Memorial Day. It was nice, but it felt so early. May was definitely much busier than it usually is!

It was a good year overall. It felt more normal than the past two pandemic years, which was great. It was a stressful year for our family, so we are glad school was the easy part!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Just the 8 of Us - Family Updates

Big Family Blog

Adjusting to life as a family of 8 has been a wild ride, but we're getting there! So much has changed in 5 REALLY fast months for all of us. Life has gotten so much busier than it already was, but I wouldn't change anything...well, except for maybe adding a few more hours each day to get stuff done!

There is so much going on right now, and I'm going to try my hardest to stay up to date with everything that's happening. I still have so many big life events to share - our surprise pregnancy, how we found out about Hayden's heart defect, Hayden's birth, our NICU stay, birthdays, vacations, holidays, baptisms, and more. Some BIG things are happening over the next few weeks, and writing is therapeutic for me, so I'm just going to jump back into blogging. 

There's no doubt that social media has taken over blogging, as it has many others, but I still have big plans to update this space. As I begin ease back into writing, I figured now would be a good time for a family update. If you follow us on social media, you do see little snippets of our lives, but never the whole picture. There's a lot going on with 8 people under one roof! Plus, I need something to keep my mind occupied right now...

Monday, January 31, 2022

Welcome, baby! Introducing...Hayden Grant!

NICU baby

Hello, blog world! It has been a long while. When I last posted, I shared the news that we were expecting another baby. Since that post, we welcomed our sweet baby boy into our family, and he's now nearly 3 months old! 

The past few months have been a whirlwind, including a NICU stay, lots of appointments, and the holiday season. We are adjusting to life as a family of 8, and I feel like it's almost our new normal. Before I do anything else, I wanted to introduce the newest family member on our blog!

I plan on easing my way back into things, including posting regularly to my blog again. I missed it so much, but there simply wasn't time, and I wanted to enjoy our last baby as a newborn. He's still newborn sized, which I absolutely love, but I can't believe he's almost 3 months old. Time simply flies by when you're a parent!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Completing Phase Three: The Final Pregnancy Chapter with a TWIST

Pregnancy Announcement

My husband and I started our parenting years when we were young. While everyone else we knew was in college or starting their careers, we were buying a house and having a baby. Two years later, we added another child to our family. Grant said he wanted one, maybe two, kids, so we thought that was it for us.

4 1/2 years later, we changed our minds. Lily was born, and a few days after she turned two, Liam joined our family. At that point we started referring to our kids as Phase One and Phase Two. We always said there would NEVER be a Phase Three!

Well, we all know how that turned out! Coen was our BIG surprise, coming into our lives after we donated most of our baby items. We were done. Phase Three would just be Coen, and we would move forward on our parenting journey. It turns out this chapter in our lives hadn't ended just yet...

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta Easy Dinner Recipe


Easy Pasta Recipe

*I received this product for free from Moms Meet for review. Compensation for this post was provided and this post may contain affiliate links.

Meal Planning for 5 family dinners a week is no easy task! My husband and 5 kids have their favorites, and it seems like we fall into a dinner rut at times. I love adding new easy dinner recipes to the rotation!

My kids love pasta dinners. Liam could EASILY eat gluten free pasta with traditional sauce every single day - and often does! There's no doubt pasta dishes are easy to make, and seem to be a favorite for many. There are so many options, but we don't venture away from traditional red sauce very often. It was definitely time to try something different! 

I like pesto, but most of my family never tried it. I decided to switch our usual pasta dish up with grilled chicken, tomatoes, bacon, mozzarella, and Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto. Guess what? They LOVED it! We now have a new easy pasta recipe to add to our meal planning rotation!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Back To School with Monster Pop


Back To School Snacks

*I received this product for free from Moms Meet for review. Compensation for this post was provided, and this post may contain affiliate links.

This week, my kids headed back to school! Gone are the lazy days of Summer. Now we have a structured schedule, sports practices, and game days. Our nights are filled with setting out school outfits, checking backpacks, and packing lunch boxes. Our days are spent in the car, running to and from school, sports, and activities, and snacking on the go. Monster Pop is there with us every step of the way!

My 5 kids are constantly asking for snacks, so I'm always looking for new, healthy snacks that they will love. When choosing snacks, I look for foods that can easily (and neatly) be eaten on the go. Bonus points if they are gluten free, so Liam, who has Celiac Disease, can eat them, too! Versatility is an important factor. Can they be added to lunch boxes? Can they snack on them at home? Do they come in different size bags and flavors?

My 4 older kids love popcorn, so we were excited to try Monster Pop. Sometimes they aren't big fans of the flavors of healthier alternatives, but it was an instant hit. It tastes JUST like movie theater popcorn without all the grease! Here's why Monster Pop is now a part of of our snack rotation...

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Myrtle Beach Pandemic Vacation - Day 4

Family Travel Blog

Day 4 of our September 2020 Myrtle Beach Vacation looked a lot like the previous days! Slow mornings, lots of relaxing, and spending the day swimming and sitting on the beach. We are beach people, so those long days on the oceanfront suit us perfectly!

We have always gone to Myrtle Beach in August, so we are used to the hot Summer days. This was a rapidly planned vacation during the off season. We couldn't pass up an end of September trip for the ridiculously cheap price of $1200 for the week!

While we were at the beach, we were able to celebrate the first day of Fall. It was different being there when the weather was cooler, but we still enjoyed ourselves. It was warm during the day, and cool at night, so there were lots of hoodies involved! We all thought it was cool that we experienced two seasons on our beach vacation!

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Myrtle Beach Pandemic Vacation - Day 3


Travel with kids

Day 3 of our Myrtle Beach "Pandemic" Vacation was a relaxing one! Life is always GO GO GO for us at home, so we try to take it easy on vacation. In September, we took advantage of all the restrictions still in place, and just did our own thing at the beach. It ended up being one of our best beach vacations!

It was perfect, because we started each day slowly, spent our afternoons at the pool and the beach, ate dinner together as a family, took walks on the beach, and enjoyed late night swims. Although a few days were a bit more adventurous, day 3 was all about relaxing and just enjoying being at the beach. It truly is our happy place! 

I'm not quite sure what this month's vacation to the beach is going to be like, but we will definitely be adopting a few of those lazy days strategies. Slow mornings were new to us on this vacation, and we all agreed that it was exactly what we needed. Recapping this last trip from September is making us feel so excited for our upcoming family vacation!