Did you come from a big family?
No, I did not. I am the youngest of three children. My husband is the oldest of three children. I always thought I would have four children. My husband wanted twelve. We decided to meet in the middle. At this rate, though, he could possibly win. :)

You do know how this happens, right?
We are well aware of the process of procreation. We take the commandment found in Genesis 1:28 to multiply and replenish the earth very seriously. :)

Are you Mormon or Catholic?
We are Mormon.

Have you always homeschooled?
Yes. None of my kids have attended public school or any type of preschool. My husband has always wanted to homeschool his children because we live in the same school district where he attended school, and he doesn't think he received the highest quality education. My husband had to convince me that homeschooling was the right way to go. Once we got the ball rolling, I fell in love with the concept. I love having my kids home with me, having a flexible schedule, and seeing my kids progress and thrive in a home environment around their siblings. I feel it's a privilege to be my children's primary educator. But don't get me wrong, there are many days that I want to pull my hair out and enroll my children in public school :)

How do you do it all?
First of all, I don't do it ALL. I think most people who ask this are comparing their busy schedules with a family of two or three children and multiplying it by two or three. I don't think that is an accurate calculation. I definitely make it point to try to take time to smell the roses and savor the moment while my children are young. I avoid the trap of getting sucked into the over-scheduled busy life of chauffeuring my children around from activity to activity multiple days per week. We do not enroll in many activities outside of the home for this purpose. Consequently, we have quality time at home with one another. My children help me out with a lot of duties such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry. When all family members share in the household responsibilities, we are all able to have quality recreational time with one another.

Your husband must make a lot of money. What does he do?
We are not wealthy by monetary definition. My husband's salary is sufficient for our needs. I think the major increase in cost of raising a large family is in the grocery budget. However, where there is a will, there is a way. Our food budget probably isn't much more than a family of four or five who goes out to eat two to three times per week and buys brand name packaged and convenience foods. We cook many things from scratch and grow a garden in the summer, which helps to keep the cost of food lower. Going to a full service restaurant is a special treat for our family.

I have become very good at spotting deals on clothing and other essential items on clearance or at thrift stores. Most clothing is handed down to younger siblings or acquired from generous friends who think of us when discarding their children's old clothing. In general, I refuse to pay more than $5 on any article of clothing unless it is an urgently needed item, such as a pair of shoes, a white church shirt for one of my boys, or a pretty church dress for one of the girls.

My husband is a computer programmer by profession, but a musician at heart. We are always aspiring to increase our income through entrepreneurial ways, but unfortunately haven't achieved success via that route yet.

What curriculum do you use for homeschooling?
Curriculum? I don't believe in spending large sums of money on homeschool curriculum. For some families it might be a good thing, but I get bored easily with the same 'ole day in and day out. We pick and choose from various sources to give our children a well-rounded education. Visit our homeschool page for more information on what we use. I also like to feel free to use my own imagination and creativity (and Pinterest) to come up with fun lessons and activities to teach my children different concepts. Personally I would rather take the money that I would spend on an expensive curriculum and use that for gas and hotel money to go on a social studies or science field trip at a fun location.

What kind of car do you drive?
We have a Ford E350 12 passenger van. I kind of wished we got the 15 passenger so we would have more cargo room, but large passenger vans are in low supply. We happened to come across a good deal on a practically brand new 12 passenger when we were expecting our fourth child, so we bought it and we are glad we did. Perhaps we will upgrade in the future to a 15 passenger.....or a school bus.

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