Tuesday, September 14, 2010

0 Down...12 to Go?!

We are going backwards, it used to be 2 down 9 to go.

Two years ago around this time I was "bragging" how we had 2 down 9 to go. Well 1 new baby and 2 of the college kids moving back home and we are at 14 bodies bursting the plaster seams of this old house.

What this means in practical terms is more money spent on food, utilities, clothes, home maintenance, schooling etc...More cars in the driveway (and street), there are 7 out front right now although one of the vans is gonna be sold soon...we hope. It's the lovely van that Mary was so kind to decorate a few years ago. We got a new to us van a few weeks ago and no family should have 2 15-passenger vans, not even the Duggars. Our new van is great. Only 2 years old and fairly clean since we haven't skanked it up to much yet. But I will kinda miss the old van. In addition to Mary personally decorating it we have broken down on the side of the road at least twice in it while on vacation. You just can't buy family fun like that. I mean who doesn't like to be stuck on the side of the road in the summer heat far from home with a 10 or so kids, a van full of suitcases, no idea where you are or where to get a tow or where to have the van towed to. Not to mention the joy of spending the next 10 years vacation budget on car repairs. Yes indeed I will miss the old family truckster. Word of advice to growing families looking to upgrade to a full-size van. Don't Buy a Doge Van! Thankfully they have stopped making them. It's a wonder Dodge is in business at all anymore if their vans are any indication of the rest of their line of vehicles. We have owned two of them over the years and they were garbage. Our two Ford vans have been much better.

Um, shoot where was I? Oh yeah kids still at home...We had two kids moved out, one at college and one at seminary so we were down to 9 kids at home (yeah us!) Well Sam went and had another baby (I can't keep her off me) and the two oldest have moved back home. So we are at 14 kids age 11 months to 20 years old living at home. We have juggled rooms around and turned the classroom into a bedroom (why would a homeschooling family need a classroom anyway?). We have 2 adults and 12 kids stashed in 8 bedrooms - thank God for cheap old roomy Levitt houses.

We have reached and passed the Mortgage vs Food tipping point. Our monthly grocery bill has now exceeded our monthly mortgage payment. That actually happened a few years ago. I had hoped with kids moving out that would change but no such luck. Maybe we should start keeping chickens or goats or spotted owls...

So for now, and the foreseeable future we will have all 12 kids at home. Which is a good thing for the most part.

Here is a rundown of what the kids are up to:

#1 Alexandria (20) - In grad school for a Masters in Social Work. Graduates next May
#2 Joshua (19) - At Community College and working various jobs
#3 Caleb (17) - At Community College, working at a gym and playing on the college soccer team
#4 Lizzie (16) - Finishing up her last year of homeschool high school and working on getting her drivers license and just got a part-time job at a grocery store (can dad get a discount?)
#5 Barbara (14) - Doing her second year of high school (or maybe it's first year of HS...not really sure) and playing soccer for a local school that lets homeschoolers play
#6 Joey (12) - In 7th grade and playing CYO soccer
#7 Robert (10) - In 6th grade, playing CYO soccer. Also does swim-team and the occasional triathlon during the summer.
#8 Dominic (8) - In 4th grade, playing soccer. Also does swim-team and the occasional triathlon during the summer. Will become an Altar Boy in the spring.
#9 Mary (6) - In 2nd grade and recovering from her broken leg. She will make her First Communion in the spring
#10 Cece (4) - In kindergarten and feisty as ever
#11 Eric (3) - A Special Child is he. He is our roughest and naughtiest kid we have. He is lucky that he is very cute.
#12 Kolbe (1) - Best behaved baby out of the bunch but in to everything now. We are trying not to let Eric destroy and/or corrupt him


Karen LH said...

I am playing my little violin for you right this minute.


Your kids are stellar ... all 12 of them.

Anonymous said...

How do you keep the yard so clean and well manicured with all of those kids running around? There's not a single bike or trike on the porch! Nice job!

laurazim said...

I love this list! Look at what a wonderful family you have!!

Doesn't Dodge still make those really tall, really ugly big vans? I've seen them around...they look like shoeboxes tipped on their sides with wheels stuck on the corners. Ick. We like our Chevy--it was at one time a state vehicle, and we got it for much less than if we'd gotten a minivan of the same year ('06). Lots of LOK ("lots of kids") families that we know go to state auctions to get their big vans (used for carpooling around here) for a steal...it's worth looking into, for those still out there looking. I don't recommend even looking at the prison vans though. They're in horrid shape. Course, they're not exactly transporting the Backyardigan kids, either. ;)

Anyway, I totally admire the job you and your beautiful wife are doing with the blessings God has seen fit to tender to your care. You're an inspiring family, to be sure!

the wife said...

Rob-This looks like our Christmas letter...we will use this...Karen-i play that violin all day long...anonymous-this is not our yard...just a picture of a house like ours...kinda funny since ours has bikes, helmets, strollers, lawnmower, balls, etc...on our yard. Laura-we did have a prison van once---loved it, no air, truck tires, and numbers printed on the roof. Classic!!! Our new van came from an auction and we love it.

Tim said...

If Dodge vans have always been so bad, why did you buy the second one?