More Hairstyles

This one is just a quick and simple double ponytail braided into three braids each with ballies at the ponytail bases and Gabby Bows on the ends of the braid.

Little kid (no hair added) box braids have become my specialty. I’m getting faster and faster at doing the braids. Mayci always asks for rainbow beads. She likes to be colorful (she regularly tells her oldest sister she doesn’t have nearly enough braids because of course Haley needs rainbow beads, too).

After reading a biography about the Williams sisters, Mayci wanted her hair done with ALLLLL the beads. I was worried that even though the white beads were extremely lightweight, doing them around her whole head would just be too heavy at her age. So we compromised and put in two thick double braids in the back. I was so worried the bands holding the beads in place would break at school (they didn’t).

This is another quick and easy style. One ponytail up on top and two in the back with each one split into two braids. Ballies and big yellow beads completed the look.

I absolutely love Mayci’s hair up in twists. It’s truly my favorite style to do tiny twists all over her head. Takes a long time, but totally worth it.

For Mayci’s recital I did box braids with some fancy beads (sadly the color on several of the beads wore off rather quickly so that was a disappointment). I was able to pull it up the way they wanted for the show and she was just totally cute.

Another box braid style, this time for Fourth of July with a little bit of red, white, and blue in the beads. I love how the same style can look so fresh with just a different bead color.

Another quick style inspired by someone on Instagram. Ponytail with colorful elastics, beads, ballies, and tons of braids… so much is going on with this colorful style. I even learned how to secure ballies to the end of her braids when I did this one. So cute!

The most amazing flowers

For Mother’s Day my bonus daughter gave me a bouquet of flowers. Usually I hate flowers. They just end up dying.

But these won’t die because they are made of paper! Not only are they made of paper, they are made of the pages from a book!

Looking at the bits you can read, they are made from pages of Alice in Wonderland. This is seriously one of the most thoughtful gifts ever!

March Owlcrate

Last month Ani and I decided to go halfsies on an Owlcrate subscription. Our first box was so much fun!

The book last month was A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson. I haven’t read it yet but it sounds like it’s going to be so good. The Owlcrate dust jacket is gorgeous (and reversible).

The edges are sprayed red. With the mostly black dust jacket those red edges are just gorgeous. It’s signed by the author, too.

The inside of the dust jacket is absolutely beautiful. The colors are so nice and the pictures so pretty. The outside of the book is embossed to match the outside of the jacket.

Along with the book we got a whole bunch of fun stuff inspired by various books. The hardest part was decided who gets what!

We got an art card binder. That is sitting on the shelf with the book (and lots of other books) with the March art displayed inside.

This is a book sleeve. Ani very quickly claimed that. Is so pretty and perfect for toting around a book inside.

This is a set of really neat bookish quotes stickers. Ani took it home to share with her roommates. Stickers and the littles don’t mix well.

The way age-defying face mask goes with The Picture of Dorian Gray is so perfect. We gave this to my mom to try out.

I claimed the literary luggage pin. It now lives on my mini backpack. I love how it looks on there. The colors go nicely together.

The final thing in the box was an embroidery kit. Haley was thrilled to be given it. Our April Owlcrate should be here any time. I can’t wait to see what it contains!

Mayci’s First Art Show

Mayci had a piece of art selected for our school district’s annual Young Masters art show for elementary schoolers last month.

Haley wasn’t feeling good but she got permission to be late to her college class so she could come see Mayci’s art like a good virtual big sister.

We waited in a long, long line to make a donation to “buy” Mayci’s art (only parents can buy the art) so she could get a certificate of sale. She was pretty thrilled with her certificate.


This has been a busy year for us. I simultaneously can’t figure out how the time has gone by so fast and how we fit so much into just twelve months. Tomorrow will be 2022 and the start of twelve more months of adventures.

In January Fritz and Adrian got their first semester report cards for 7th and 9th grades and both did amazing for their first time in public school since kindergarten and second grade. We also continued trying to figure out just how much food to make to feed our small army (spoiler alert: it’s always too much or too little).

In February we put up a baby urinal in our bathroom and it’s been the best thing we could have done. There was more figuring out how to feed our small army (we’ve pretty much got it down now). We got a playground put up in our backyard. We ended up with COVID in the house and had to quarantine at the same time pretty much the entire state of Texas shut down due to a freak snowstorm and crazy cold (we got lucky and never lost power).

In March I started getting more creative with Mayci’s hair. All the adults in the house got vaccinated for COVID. Zeke turned six on Pi Day. The next day Noah had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and have tubes put in his ears. We got brave and took all six kids to HEB for the first time.

In April I sprained my foot when I gracefully fell down the stairs of The Beast. We also discovered Zeke has hair like Fritz’s: It grows SO fast!

In May our six-year-old officially changed his name to Zeke. School got out and so Mayci finished pre-k, Zeke finished kindergarten, Adrian finished 7th grade, and Fritz finished 9th grade.

In June the kids were bored of their 11-week summer vacation within about 30 seconds so we started our summer schedule which continued the entire summer and worked great. We got Fritz’s end of course results (all three passed). We entered Birthday Season when Adrian turned 13 on Juneteenth. The end of the month the twins turned two.

In July we got Adrian’s STAAR test results (he did great especially because it was his first time taking that sort of test). On the 6th Nicholas turned 3. And then on the 11th Fritz turned 15. Adrian saved all year and enlisted the help of a few other people in order to give Fritz an Oculus Quest 2 for his birthday. On the 18th Anthony turned 4 ending our intense streak of five birthdays in less than three weeks. Fritz got all registered for the virtual school for 10th grade.

In August we finished birthday season on the 2nd when Mayci turned 5. Zeke and Mayci both took off in their reading (best decision ever to work on teaching them how to read over the summer). We found out who the three elementary schoolers’ teachers would be (they’ve all been the perfect teacher for each kid, especially Zeke’s). In the middle of the month it was time for four of the kids to be off to pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, and 8th grades (and Nicky moved to a new room at preschool). A week later Fritz started 10th grade. Just before the end of the month my beautiful mother turned three-quarters of a century old.

In September we started getting monthly boxes of Young Adult books from Literati for Adrian (love those books). Dance classes started up for Zeke and Mayci. I did the most complicated and beautiful hairstyle on Mayci that I’ve done so far (53 twists). The twins moved out of their cribs and into their big boy beds. We took four of the kids to the movies for the first time. Mayci went to dance camp at the high school and got to perform at halftime at a football game.

In October we pulled Nicholas out of preschool. We got the four littlest boys new church clothes. I did some fancy hair on both Mayci and Haley. We had some really cute costumed kids on Halloween.

In November Jamie and I went to see The Beach Boys again. Lola moved in with Cameron and Tami and it’s helped Nicky’s eczema so much (he’s allergic to dogs). We celebrated Jamie’s 46th birthday and one year since we adopted the kids by playing at a trampoline park. We got our family pictures taken. I started having more time to read again thanks to Haley playing with the twinplets six hours a week and the kids getting a little older and more independent.

In December Nicky suddenly started looking much older and bigger than his little brothers. Anthony’s dreams came true when we put a Christmas tree in our living room. My Daddy turned 77 on Christmas Eve.

And now here we are on New Year’s Eve looking forward to what 2022 will bring us. We know a few things like Trek for the big boys, Fritz being ordained to the office of Priest, Birthday Season ending with us having 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14 and 16-year-olds, Ani turning 22 in February, Zeke turning 7 in March, me turning 44 in April, Cameron turning 21 in October, and Jamie turning 47 in November the same day we hit two years since the kids were adopted, and having kids starting pre-k, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 11th grades in August. Whatever else 2022 has in store for us, I know it will be awesome!

Shifting Naps

We’ve been trying to shift the babies’ naps to one long one in the afternoon for a few weeks now and they are still fighting it. With Nicholas home with us and him totally used to napping 12:30-2:30 or 3, I wanted to get the twins napping at same time. They were napping about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon and, boy, do they still want to!

I have to actively work to keep them awake until after lunch. Even on days Haley is here playing with them one or the other (usually Noah) will try to go to sleep on her. It’s kind of crazy how hard it’s been to shift those naps.

Hair for Two This Week

Our bonus daughter was going to a Halloween event Saturday night and asked me to do her hair for it. She was going to be “an elfish sort of thing” so this is what I came up with for her hair.

I did a starburst on the top of her head leading to each knot. The back and front knots are braids made into knots and the top ones are twists made in knots.

It turned out super cute and didn’t even take very long (about an hour and a half). I decided to take the same idea and make it more for a little girl when I did Mayci’s hair later in the day.

Mayci’s hair took 4 1/2 hours. There are 12 wedges, each split into three braids. Mayci hates to have her hair in her face so I pulled the three front segments up on each side.

She wanted Halloween colors so I did a black bead, two orange solid beads, and two translucent beads on 26 of her braids and put clear glitter Gabby Bows at the end of the other ten braids (first time using those and I LOVE them… totally need to get more!). I finished the style off with orange ballies up top. So cute!

Mornings With the Twinplets

We pulled Nicky out of his preschool so he’s home with the twins and me full time now. Since it’s been cool (low 60s) in the mornings we’ve been going outside to play every morning.

It’s always Nicky and Joel who decide we are done out there after 20-30 minutes. Noah would rather stay outside forever so it takes a bit of convincing to get him to follow his brothers.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings our Haley comes to play with them for a couple hours. When she’s not here we spend the morning up in the playroom having lots of fun.

Mornings with the twinplets are so much fun!

It always seems to take four hours

Saturday I braided Ani’s best friend’s hair. She’s very rarely had her hair braided in her life and only once did she have beads so we decided to go all out. She wanted rainbow beads and when she put her glasses back on after I was all done, her glasses matching her beads was just perfect. It took about four hours. It always seems to take four hours.