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How Do You Do It?

How Do You Do It?

January 19, 2006

I frequently get emails asking me about the logistics of taking care of seven children. How do you feed them all? How many gallons of milk do you go through a week? How much laundry do you do? Do you drive a bus? (answers: they feed themselves, none, never quite enough, a 15 passenger van with the back bench removed)

My friend Carmen, a.k.a. Mom to the Screaming Masses, and I have decided to team up and write our takes on raising a much larger than average family in a world where the average is less than two. Every Wednesday for the next month we will write on the same topic and publish the essays on our respective blogs.

Have any burning questions that you would like us to address? Now is your time to ask them. Leave them in the comments or else send me an email if you are shy.

Updated to add:

While I appreciate honesty and all the enthusiasm, perhaps I wasn’t clear that I didn’t mean this to be a free for all, ask any personal question and it shall be answered type of thing. Carmen and I were wanting to write about what it means to be a mother to many children… the good, the bad, the often humorous. By writing on the same topic at the same time, there would be two unique perspectives.

We aren’t going to be disclosing our tax returns or showing our bank statements, and everyone can rest assured that neither of us has our husbands shackled to the bed, forcing them to impregnate us, as much as they might enjoy the shackling. I think everyone who has a blog and puts their life out in the open has certain boundaries. I can’t discuss my husband’s job for the obvious reasons, as well as the fact that his life is *his* story, not mine. This is why I mostly I write about me. Me, me, and more me.

Posted by Chris @ 8:20 am  

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Comments

  1. kristal says:

    That’s funny… I get the same thing a lot. In fact, I just posted about doing laundry for nine people. I can’t wait to read your Wednesday posts!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, I imagine that mothers of masses have to be organized. Note: organized is not synonymous with neat, tidy or structured. Instead, it’s a ’system’ for getting things done. Having dithered through this prologue: what’s your ‘master’ grocery list like?

  3. Katie says:

    Great! Now I can refer all my questioners to you (my latest was about our daily water usage, hehe).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Do you ever get time to yourself?

  5. Jennifer says:

    yay! i can’t wait to read your posts on wednesdays.

    i’ve been wondering how you do the homeschooling and do you have time to sit down with a group of children while the rest are busy with something else? how does that work?

    and how you get them to leave you alone long enough to write such entertaining posts?

    and if you ever get time alone with your husband?

    and if it ever occurs to you to run away? (it does to me and i only have one)

  6. Erin says:

    HI!
    Sounds great, I look forward to reading it. I come from people who have larger-than-average families (brother has 5 kids and sister has 4). I have a hard enough time organizing my 2 kids.

    I used to read your blog every day, went away, and now I’m back…can’t wait to catch up with you and your family.

  7. novaks8 says:

    I asked you once How do you paint and do other such things on the house with the kids there?

    I have 6 but only 2 at home during the day and I can’t get ANYTHING like that done!

  8. Lisa says:

    I get those same questions ALL THE TIME. And while I don’t mind answering, I feel funny when they look at me like I have 7 heads or something. I really loathe it when they say, “Didn’t you learn what caused that?” (kids) No. No, I still don’t know. Moron! So not funny!

    It’s so nice to read other moms with large families. I am the only one out of all my family and friends with more than 3 kids.

  9. Jessica says:

    What is your normal daily schedule? Any special tips you would like to give out?

  10. Jenni says:

    What I love is the comment “You must have the patience of a SAINT!” Why yes, as a matter of fact, I do!! That’s the reason I love Candyland so much! I could play it all day long!

    I remember the days when I had seven. It sometimes felt like a lot!

  11. The McCords' says:

    as a mom of 4 and one in the making I would sincerely like to know if you have discovered the magic formula for getting them all out the door without losing your mind. be honest!
    you seem to go alot of places and I always wonder how you manage that.
    I have begun to wonder if I need to keep all shoes, coats, and spare underwear IN the car so that we can actually get out the door.
    Thanks for any wisdom!!

  12. Meg says:

    Two questions, then.

    1)how do you homeschool ‘em all?

    2)what do you do when everyone’s morning coffee (or whatever) kicks in at the same time and you have 8 people (I’m excluding the little man) who have to poo at the same time and a limited number of bathrooms.

    And Chris, if you’re trying to decide between my two questions, go with #2 (pun intended) - I’m dying of curiousity…

  13. Jennifer says:

    I can’t wait to read it! We have five, and I homeschool two of them, so I know your posts will be great! :)

  14. "D" says:

    Looking forward to it! I think it takes the right heart to raise more than 3… and certain people got it and can do it, and some people don’t and can’t no matter how many tips and hints they get…some can barely handle one!

  15. Heather says:

    I’m a little afraid to read the Q&A. I just had our 3rd, but hubby wants at least one more. I’m sure you’ll make it all sound so easy. I’ll get this stupid idea in my head that I can do it, when in reality I’m not near as together or sane as you appear to be.

  16. R says:

    Well as a mother of 6 one that always gets me is “how do you find time for s-e-x”? Umm..HELLO!! SIX kids!! sheesh!

  17. graceful says:

    What is your morning routine?

    Do you wake all the kids at the same time or in shifts to stagger bathroom use? Then how much time do you all have to get ready for school? Do you drive them or do they walk or take the bus?

  18. Chuck says:

    Hey I want in too. We only have 6 but the mostly stay at home Dad weirds people out. How about posting the topic the day before and see how many other big family folks join in?

  19. Blairzoo says:

    Hi,

    Here’s a question but probably NOT for the Wednesday thing. Since you don’t drink cow’s milk, I guess you use soy or rice milk….Does that mean that you are all vegan or just sensitive to milk. If you guys eat vegan, I’d like to know HOW you get all your kids to actually eat dinner?! I’ve been vegetarian for ages and have decided that I’m not cooking meat anymore at home, except that some of my kids would rather starve to death rather than eat what I make. They would rather go to bed hungry and wake up with the nausea and dry heaves from a low blood sugar attack rather than let something healthy touch their lips. Do you have a cookbook or website that has vegan recipes (that aren’t focused on soy), that your kids will eat?

    Ok Ok, so I know that there is no such thing as an easy way to get picky eaters to eat, but I figure if I try 50 new recipes one of them will be something that everyone will eat, no? Hmmmm, those odds don’t sound right…..I’ll try 1,000 recipes and hope for 1 that pleases everyone…..

  20. Melissa says:

    Ok, so my question is one which you, for sure, can ignore. I came from a large family (6 kids), so I don’t question the day to day things. I only have two so far. We will probably end up with 4. My question is what are their names and how come you use the baby’s name, but not the rest? I love his name by the way. In the past week since I found you site, I have read all the way back to when you started. And no, I don’t have a ton of time on my hands, but I have been sick and I am a fast reader. By the way, the kids are adorable.

  21. dad on a wire says:

    I hope this doesn’t offend, but I wonder if you have time to get to know each of your children individually. I grew up in a family of seven, and the relationship I had with my parents didn’t have anywhere near the depth and individuality that I enjoy with my two daughters. It seems like once you get past about four children, you can certainly be organized, raise them well, teach them morals, educate them, etc, but can you really know them deeply, intimately, and individually?

  22. Chris says:

    dad on a wire… OUCH! but a legitimate question nonetheless.

    I have to say that I think a generation ago when we were growing up parents were not as interested in “getting to know” their children as parents are now. Of course this is speaking in sweeping generalizations.

    I was an only child and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that my parents didn’t know me. I’d hazard to say that they had no idea of even my general likes and dislikes.

    I do like this question though.

    melissa,
    I don’t want to put the names of my children out there on the web. The only reason that I use the name of my youngest is that I was pregnant with him and gave birth to him since I began this blog.

  23. Mama to Brownheads says:

    As a mama to 5 boys and a girl (in that order) I wonder more about the dynamics of a HER with all those HE’s. Do the boys interact a lot with your daughter? Does she want to play with them? Does she just tag along for the ride with all those boys?

  24. JeepGirl says:

    I don’t have a question right now, but just damn impressed.
    I feel like I should be bowing to you, rubbing your feet or getting you something to drink.

    Congrats on being a cool and great mom.

  25. MJ says:

    Honestly i hate that question. I mean do people really think bout it. Its not like I wake up in the morning and flip out and say “Oh my gosh, I have 8 children, oh no whatever will i do, how will i handle it?”

    No I just get up , proceed to get the ones up that need to be and go about the day. ITs not like they just appeared on my doorstep, I adjusted to each as they came along.

    And heck ya, its hard but its not as hard as people imagine it to be. You learn to work as a team and function more as a unit than just individual chaos.

    Looking forward to reading :)

  26. MJ says:

    Hey maybe a post with the answers to all the frequent large family questions like Lisas from above comments, “Dont you know what cause that” and my very favorite answer of all time … “Yes and I happen to enjoy it” said with a gigantic smile on my face. It shuts them up everytime.

    Im still tempted to answer teh question “are they all yours?” with nope I picked this one up in the parking lot.

  27. Anne says:

    I just refer everyone to the women I know who have more than me. I tell them 6 is no big deal since you (usually) get them one at a time so you have time to get used to it ;o)

    I can’t wait to read!

  28. HolyMama! says:

    I’m 30, with 4 kids. And what I HATE is when I’m out with them and strangers make ugly/unwanted comments about my family. “Are they all yours?” or “Hopefully you’re not having any more…?” etc. It’s worse when one of them is misbehaving, but I need a quick Shut Em Up response that can be pulled out at a moment’s notice. Got one?

  29. O_Scientist says:

    I agree with Chuck. Post your topic ahead of time and see whether other TOK parents join in

    Karen

  30. Brianna Heldt says:

    Great idea; I look forward to reading your post and seeing you answer questions. We only have one (23 month old girl) right now, but are in the process of adopting two babies from Ethiopia…people think we’re nuts! We look forward to having a larger-than-average family, and my question is this: what time do you all get up in the morning and what is your daily routine like?

  31. owlhaven says:

    I wanted to add a comment to dad on a wire… Chris is right– it’s a good question. One thing that helps ME personally know my kids better is that we homeschool. I have many more hours per day with my kids than families who send their kids to school. i am also an at-home mom. (neither of the above comments are value judgements.. I’m just explaining how it works for us)

    Also, the kids came one at a time, so we got acquainted with them gradually, just like in smaller families. And we try hard to do things with just one or two kids at a time on purpose.

    For example, when my hubby runs to the store for something, he never goes alone. He always chooses a child or two to go along. When he chops firewood he brings one of the boys out with him, yes, to help, in part, but also just to spend some time together.

    And yesterday, my teenaged girls and I went grocery shoppping and out to dinner and since we only brought the baby with us, it felt like a little break and was a good chance to reconnect with the two of them and just chat.

    We do actively work on relationships, and it works well…

    HTH

  32. Chuck says:

    For the loads of other TOK mobs, My favorite to the remarks about so many kids is, “After the girl we finally got a color tv in the bedroom”

    They either don’t get it and walk away puzzeled or do getit and are not sure if you are serious.

    Great fun

  33. Anonymous says:

    Do you homeschool? Jackie

  34. Moonface says:

    i wonder that myself every time i read your blog. and i am so awed by how you do it all.

    i look forward to the wednesday posts.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been reading you for about a year. I have questions that you might not like. I don’t mean them to be rude, but they might come off that way.

    First, WHY? I don’t understand why anyone would want to have so many children. Can you explain why?

    Second, does your husband also have this desire to have so many kids, or is it something you sort of compromise on. (Obviously he helped you make them, but did he make the choice to have so many children?) And regarding your husband, you rarely talk about him or your relationship, just wondered why. Does he know about your blog?

    Third…how on earth does he support such a large family and such a huge house? I assume you’re rather well off, is it strictly from his income or did one or both of you come from a wealthy family?

    Four, are you or were you Mormon?

    Five, have you ever considered having your children model, because they are attractive enough that they could. And will you have more?

    Okay, I’m done. Hope that wasn’t too rude. I love reading you, you’re very funny and seem to have a terrific attitude towards life. I just always wonder these things when I’m reading.

    Thank you!

  36. Tammy says:

    What kind of job does your husband have that you can afford to stay home? I only have two & my husband and I both work 40 hours plus a week and it takes both of us to keep our heads above water!
    Help!! I’m certainly jealous!

  37. Sarah says:

    Is it much harder to go from having two children to three (and four, five, six, and seven)? I have two right now and am seriously considering having a third child. Just curious.

  38. Kristie says:

    OK, here’s my question …. hope it’s not too personal. What, exactly, is it *YOU* do for fun? I mean, I assume a large portion of your time is taken up in the day-to-day tasks of keeping a large family running … ie, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc, plus I know you home-school. I only have three kids, but find it imperative for my sanity (and theirs, too, I suppose) to have a hobby that I enjoy, that takes me away from them, even if only for brief periods. So, what’s your hobby, if you have one, and how often are you able to enjoy it? And for the record, hiding in the bathroom reading Harlequin romance novels does NOT count as a hobby!!!

    Thanks for sharing yourself this way; I always enjoy your posts and look forward to many more.

  39. Heather says:

    I am surprised at the honesty with alot of the questions! I love honesty though, the only way to go.

    A couple things that have crossed my mind while reading your blog have already been asked.

    1. Again, how do you AFFORD to stay home with 7 children and a huge home that I am assuming you own somewhere back east. I have been checking real-estate and its not at all in my price range. LOL.

    2. Will you have any more children?

    3. What age would you STOP having children at?

    4. Have you and your husband ever thought about selling your home and moving? That would be a huge move! It seems to me that you are there for good, which is wonderful.

    5. If you werent married with your beautiful family, what and where do you think you would be right now? Career and location.

    Love your blog! Your a true inspiration to women. And by the way, I do hiss the question always asked, “why so many children?” Was there a limit set somewhere that I wasnt notified about? Why do people think that seven is so bad? I just dont get it.

  40. Scooby says:

    ROFL on the mormon comment… sorry if I offend anyone in anyway but as a “mormon” I always have to laugh when people assume those with large families are LDS (mormon). No offense meant I swear!

    Anyway, I am DYING to know about a day in your homeschooling life. You talk about so many other wonderful things and I truly love reading your blog but I want to hear about a day in the life of homeschooling at the big yellow house. *grin*

  41. Sarah says:

    If we are sticking to “how do you do it” questions….I don’t know if they all have separate bedrooms, being a huge house and all, but how do you manage bedtimes - all my three (4yrs-9months) are in the same room (through space limits and their choice), and it is a battle to get them to settle down and go to sleep. Not to mention me….Thanks! I’m going to enjoy this new feature of your great blog!

  42. B.E.C.K. says:

    I’m honestly puzzled about this, so I hope you’ll take it in the spirit in which I intend it: I don’t think people who ask “Are they all yours?” mean to be rude or even are being rude by asking the question. I don’t think I’ve run into a family with more than three or four kids in public. (Yes, there’s a family on my parents’ block that has six kids [and they are LDS, for the blogger above - lol], but the kids are well known in the neighborhood.) But I have been in plenty of situations where I’ve taken my (one) child to a playground or something and another mom has asked me, “Is he your only one?” I don’t take offense — why should it be offensive the other way around?

    I would guess that most folks are just making conversation, although some do it less gracefully than others, and sure, there are a few judgmental people out there. Incidentally, at playgrounds and such, when people have asked me if my son is my only child, if I respond, “Yes…and you have (counting) four?” the response is usually “No, only two of them are mine; the other two are friends.” Maybe when some people hear that often enough they start assuming that every large group of children is probably not all siblings, and they just want to make conversation, hence the question: “Are they all yours?” I don’t see what’s offensive about that, but if it is offensive, maybe you could write about that…?

    I also want to mention that there are probably some people who envy you for having so many kids. Personally, I would love to have a bunch of kids, but my circumstances haven’t been conducive to that. Maybe a reason that people ask you questions about having a lot of kids is that they want to figure out, on some level, how they would be able to swing something like that. This might account for their asking you what your husband does, how you educate the kids, how much water you use, etc.

    I guess I’m just trying to say that I bet most of the questions you get come from a good place, even if people aren’t always very graceful about the way they ask or the way they phrase their questions. Don’t you see it that way?

    I hope this all makes sense. I’m typing this at 2:00 a.m., so one never knows. :-)

  43. Anonymous says:

    To the moms of larger families from a mom who has always wanted a large family but will very likely end up copping out with only four…. The question “are they all yours” is not always meant in a rude way. When I see a large family (especially here in Germany where a family with three children is considered a “GroƟfamilie”–large family!) with a whole gaggle of children, it can’t help but put a smile on my face. I want to ask if these are, in fact, all one family of children because I am full of admiration. I don’t ask. But the question would only be meant with respect if I did. As far as having a “large” family goes, it’s all relative, I suppose. Here, people about dropped their teeth when they discovered I was pregnant with #3. They simply could NOT understand why we would want another child when we already had a girl and a boy, the “perfect” family. I like to mention my sister’s five just to see their expression. And her friend’s twelve….

    I do have one question for mums of larger families: which one was the hardest to add? My sister said it was #3 because it changed the dynamics so completely and she said many of her friends with larger families said the same. I didn’t believe her until we had #3. Yikes .

  44. Anonymous says:

    What type of chores are your kids responsible for and do they help willingly? I would imagine with nine people, everyone would need to pitch in - but sometimes that’s more of a dream than reality (at least in my house!)

  45. Navhelowife says:

    Oh, I’d like to know the chore thing too…and the homeschool schedule (aproximate anyway :) )
    I wanted a big family (I’m one of 4) but we’ve settled on 3. BTW, one of the first posts I read was when your DH got his…umm…operation! Mine got it a few weeks later.
    Thanks for all your gorgeous writing.

  46. speckledpup says:

    My dad had 8 brothers and sisters.
    The family -as grownups- got together each year the first two weeks of August at Grandmas.
    You came when you could. Some were there the whole two weeks, some were there for a weekend, a day, part of week. But sometime during that two weeks, there were 7 siblings and spouses, 40 children, 7 camping trailers, 5 or six tents, and two happy grandparents.
    Best memories of my life.

    Grandma did this for us once. She lost one of her children young. at 15. She was the prettiest, the smartest…really, not just because she died. Grandma said it hurt so much more because of the dreams she had for M. So one of those summers she held us spell bound as she made a prediction of our (grandchildren) reunions in the future.
    Nothing turned out like she thought. But I got a glimpse of what she saw in me by the predictions.
    She’s 90 now…and still a card.

    What do you invision for your family as adults. Now don’t go all philosphy on me and say–as long as they’re happy —-or I’ll throw a raspberry tart at you… I mean pick a date in the future..20 years from now and tell me what an ideal family get together would be and how you think those charmers have turned out.

  47. Silly Old Bear says:

    Well, I could stand to hear more about the shackling…

  48. Anonymous says:

    Like Sarah, I’m real curious about the bedtime routine– do they all go to bed at once, or do the older ones have separate bedtimes? With all the boys, do they bicker/argue/fight/ and or competitive with each other a lot? (I have two boys and they are constantly in competition in some way,shape or form, it seems!) I had an idea what so many would be like, when I babysat my neighbor’s three along with my three for a couple hours. They kept each other occupied for the most part, other than breaking up a few disagreements it really wasn’t bad, but then– that was only a couple of hours. When I have a bad day, I love coming here and reading about how your day went and it inspires me. I always think, “well, if she can do all that with 7, then I should be able to handle 3– piece of cake!” So thanks for your wonderfully enlightening blog. It always makes my day to come here and see how the occupants of “The Big Yellow House” are doing!!

  49. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious about snacks. I find that with three children, I can stay more or less on budget by feeding them Goldfish crackers and store-bought cookies, although I’d rather feed them healthier snacks like fresh pears and grapes, etc. But healthier costs more–how do you deal with this, with so many kids? Have you found healthy snacks that are also affordable in mass quantities? Or do you just feed them whatever’s on sale and call it good?

  50. Anonymous says:

    I know the questions about finances are kind of nosy, but I think part of the reason people are asking is not because they want to see your 1099 or your paychecks, but to honestly know how you do it?

    I mean, I’m getting ready to quit my job to stay home with our one child…and I’m freaked about finances. While I think seven would be great, I can’t imagine ever being able to afford that on my husband’s salary. I mean, if your husband is a school teacher, you probably have some outstanding ways of stretching every dollar that you couild share. If he is, say, president of a Fortune 100 company, you probably don’t need to stretch so far.

    Yeah, there’s no question there, but I think that’s where some of the financial questions are coming from, not from people trying to pry, but from people who’d love to be where you are but don’t think it’s possible.

  51. 4 girls and 3 boys says:

    Do you ever feel like 7 is not so many really? I have 7 and I don’t see it as large.

  52. Ian says:

    We have five with one more on the way and while money can be tight sometimes, we manage to feed and clothe everyone with only my income. I make under 60k gross a year.

    If you get rid of the credit cards, drive older vehicles and get rid of things like cable tv, lots of eating out and accept hand-me-downs, it isn’t that difficult as long as there aren’t extenuating circumstances like health problems.

  53. Erin says:

    Hi Chris,

    I look forward to reading your blog everyday. I’ve been a faithful
    reader since October ‘04.

    I grew up as an only child, so I am mesmerized by the fact that your daughter has 6 brothers. I think someone mentioned this above, but I too am interested in what this is like for her, as well as for you and your husband. Obviously she is too young to know her life any other way. How do her brothers interact with her? Are they protective (yet) or just treat her as “one of the guys”?

    What was it like to have a girl after 5 boys? In what ways has it been different, or perhaps the same?

    I yearned for siblings all of my life and think it is a beautiful thing when I see larger families like yours.

    Thanks for your time, Chris! Looking forward to see you touch on some of your readers’ comments.

  54. deputyswife says:

    I was kind of shocked at some of the questions. Isn’t it amazing what people think they can ask of a person? I should do a post about that…

    Anywho, my question is somewhat simple. At least other mothers make it look simple. With your boys, when and how did you start to potty train?

    With my first two, I followed the recommendation of their pediatrician and waited until they showed interest. They finally showed interest at 3 1/2 and was not fully trained until the age of four. Both of them. I have my little two year old left and I am considering pushing it with him in a few months.

    So that’s my question. No personal records, financial statements. Just basic (not so basic for me) potty training strategy.

  55. Liz in Australia says:

    I’d be really interested to read how you balance everyone’s schedules and competing interests. I unschool my 8yo daughter and also have a 10 month old baby, and it can sometimes be a stretch to make sure both of them are getting the attention they need without the oldest missing out on getting to pursue her passions. I’m curious to find out if it’s easier with more kids because then they can keep each other occupied some of the time *g*

    And, OK, I’m also curious about how you manage the food situation. What happens if you have kids with wildly differing likes and dislikes? I quite often end up preparing three meals for the four of us, although our oldest is eating the food we adults like more and more often, and the baby still eats whatever she’s given. At least I like cooking…

    I’m really looking forward to these posts! Thanks for the glimpses into your life.

  56. Melissa says:

    Chris-
    Cool, thanks for responding to my question. I totally understand that you wouldn’t want the world to know your kids names. I just was curious because I love names, and I loved the baby’s name.

  57. Abigail says:

    If your money dried up tomorrow, could you still thrive as well as survive - or would you rather not think about it?

  58. Chris says:

    Abigail,
    I’m not really sure I “get” your question. If my money dried up?

    Do you mean if my husband dropped dead tomorrow would I be able to raise these children in the style they have become accustom? ::snort::

    The answer to that is that while we are prepared as best as we can for that type of catastrophic event, I prefer not to think about my husband dying. I

  59. Mama2five says:

    *grin*Oh Chris!!!!LOL
    I am so glad to see I am not the only one who get’s asked these questions…..my inbox is always filled with questions and comments, what a smart idea to post them in an essay form. I look forward to reading them, you write about motherhood so beautifully and with such humour!!!
    God bless!!
    ~Penny
    A Day in the Life at Our House

  60. CT says:

    Dear Chris,

    I suddenly felt the urge to de-lurk. Unlike most of your other commenters here, I’m not at all a mom. I’m actually a grad student right now. I like reading the blogs of people I know from home who are raising kids, and through a long web, that is how I found this. You probably already know this, but yours is very well written. I like how you’ve straddled the writerly line between your family’s privacy and the great stories you share with the world.

    I’m one of the youngest in a family of a dozen (who are all in another state), and I have to say that coming from a big family is one of the things I love the most about my life. Even now that we’re all grown up–in fact, especially now that we’re all grown up–getting together is so much fun. There are problems though, like I don’t think I know my siblings as well as other people know theirs, and sometimes there is infighting and gossip, but for the most part everything gets smoothed over by the juggernaut that is the sound of laughter and people helping each other out and grandkids running around.

    I think I like your site because a part of me wishes that I could start my own big family like that (who knows, maybe I still will), but I know I have to do what I’m doing now. Plus I don’t know if I have the personality for heading it up–being a member of a big family is a very different thing than that! The blogosphere is very helpful for vicarious living.

    Keep writing and good luck with the house. And have fun!

  61. Prudence says:

    Well said CT - I too am from a large family (the oldest of 6) and now that we are all grown (I am 29 & my youngest sibling, sister, is 19 with 4 brothers in between) we have a great time getting together. I couldnt imagine life without this big of a family. Im glad to see there are people out there who are still willing to have large families. It may be hard at times but it is so worth it!! No offense to those of you who are an only child, but I could never imagine life without any siblings to be the best of friends with.

  62. Abigail says:

    I didn’t intend to be morbid! I hope your husband lives to see his forty-nine grandchildren (if your kids have as many kids as you). My question about a general one about ‘can you imagine what your family life would be like if you didn’t have the money? And would you still find it as much fun? I’m assuming any conventional person wouldn’t find it as much fun if they were strapped for cash, but then you’re not conventional at all, are you?’
    Here’s a different question:
    Do you have any paid help?
    And finally: a compliment: I admire the way your writing strikes a clever balance between revelation and discretion. Very tricky thing to do.

  63. Lana says:

    I’d like to know how on Earth you’re able to organize your thoughts so well and find time to sit down and write your wonderful blog entries. I’m a writer-blogger mom, too, and am envious of how prolific you are!

  64. Tay says:

    I’m not a mom either, heh, I’m 16, with a million cousins, but two siblings. I’ve been reading since the start, but I don’t think I’ve commented yet, I’ve been meaning too…

    Anyway, I was just wondering why you made the decision to homeschool? It always seemed so interesting to me.

    Thanks!

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