Yes, I have a large family. Nope, cant say that I had planned for it to be this big, but as a friend of mine says - "We plan, God laughs!" And I'm so glad God planned for my life to be this way, with this many children! That doesn't stop the questions I get. So in case you were wondering, lets just get to the facts now. Here, then, is a list of the things people tend to ask whenever they find out we have ten children, followed by my/our typical answers:
Ten kids?!? Are you crazy?
You do know what causes that, dont you?
Yes. (BIG wink)
How do you do it? I'm tried at the end of the day and I only have one.
OK, first off, never say you only have one like its a bad thing. Its an awesome thing to have a child, and you're understandably tired by the work involved. Just because I have ten does not in any way make me a better parent than anyone else. If you had chosen to have ten, you'd be doing the same things my husband and I do, and you may be doing them better than us. We're by no means superheros, but what we are, no doubt, is blessed.
What age range are your kids? Boys or girls?
We have six girls and four boys: Blaze and Alex are 20. Noelle or Elle as we call her is 19, Pheonix is 17, Megan is 16, Madi is 15, Jess is 13, Avarie is 7, Ezra is 5 and Marlee is 3.
Did you ever think about having any more?
Yes, all the time, but we're done. Unless God has other plans for us.
You must live in a huge house?
No, not at all. A three bedroom house that we turned into a four bedroom, and just one, yes you heard me, one bathroom. A nice size kitchen, dining room, laundry room, family/movie room.
Funny, I still have kids ask where Dad is or where is (insert name here). I joke and ask them if they've looked in the west wing of the house.
Do you have a nanny or daycare provider for your kids?
No, I am stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. Logistically, we rarely have problems getting the kids to their various activities, and when we do, the grandparents live less than 15 minutes away and are always willing to help, along with some great friends.
How do you make sure you spend enough alone time with each child?
The biggest challenge to having a large family, well that and the laundry: Paying attention to every kid and making them feel unique/special. The only way to do it, make it a priority. I try to do one-on-one things with each of my kids. This is one of the many reasons I homeschool, gives me more time with my kids. I enjoy working one on one with them and seeing the joy in their face when we learned something new.
Do the older ones take care of the younger ones?
Sure, just like in any family where theres a sizeable gap between the oldest and youngest. Our 13 yr old, especially, is like a second mom to the younger ones.
Do you drive a bus?
Close, we recently traded in our 15 passenger van for a new, nicer 12 passenger van.
And lastly, my favorite, Are you their real mom?
Yes, I am real. I really love them, I really take care of them, I am real in every sense of the word. Did I give birth to them all? No. As I like to say, some were born under my heart and some were born in it. Alex, Elle, Megan are my children from my first marriage, adopted by my husband Rod in 2003 (we married in 2000). Technecly Blaze, Pheonix, Madi are my step children but I never think of myself as step mom, nor do they, I am mom, period. Jess is adopted. Avarie, Ezra and Marlee are my birth children with Rod after his vasectomy reversal in 2004. We are a very blended, very happy family all living under one roof.