Big family photos; and family comes to my rescue once again

Sunday night, we drove 85 miles for a complete family get-together.  Even our Tennessee sister was in town with her husband and 2 children.  Mom and Dad, all 14 sibs, in-laws and a soon-to-be sister-in-law and 23 grandchildren were there.  Hubby was the only one missing since he’s out of town, but we’ll photoshop him in.

The last time all the grandchildren were together, there were something like 17.  We obviously need to do this more often.

We visited and ate; then we ate some more.  After a dinner of spaghetti, the children were still miraculously clean so we took some group photos.  Try to imagine that!

We started with the full group photo, taking plenty of pictures on 3 separate cameras in the hopes that somebody would capture one shot where nobody was blinking.  But we didn’t stop there.  That was just the beginning.

We did pictures of Grandma and the grandkids; Grandpa and the grandkids; Grandma and Grandpa and the grandkids; Grandpa and the grand-sons, Grandma and the grand-sons, etc.  You get the idea.  It was a riot.

Look how young my mom looks here. Can you spot the mother of 14 and grandmother of 23?

There are only six boys, but when it came time to take pics of just the grandsons and grandparents, the fidgeting never ended. And I don’t just mean the kids.

The girls did much better.

No, wait.  They didn’t.

We took pics of Mom and Dad with their 14 offspring.  Hey Jonathan, cute.  Real cute. Kaitlyn had to use some mad photoshop skilz to make this photo presentable.  I think you know what I’m talking about.  Kyle, you had a hand in it too.  Don’t think we didn’t catch you.

Mom with just the 10 girls; Dad with the 10 girls, Mom with the 4 boys…after all the permutations we could think of with that particular group, we did a few pics with just the 10 sisters and (I think) some with just the 4 boys.

All my sisters waiting for the pregnant lady to get out of the bathroom. See what a big spot they saved me? Nice, girls. Are you trying to tell me something?

We all took turns blinking for the camera, see?

Can you spot the grandma in this one?

Finally, we were done.  We visited and ate some more.  Then it was time to go.  Since it was night and we had a 90 minute drive, my brother told me he and his family would follow us home just to make sure we didn’t have trouble along the way.  The kids wanted to know what sort of trouble we could possibly have.  I smiled and shrugged.  “Oh, I don’t know.  Flat tire, maybe.  We won’t run out of gas since the tank is full, but it’s good that Kyle is looking out for us while Dad is gone.”

A few minutes down the road, Kyle called to apologize.  He had forgotten that he had to go home a different way to pick up a cousin.  He couldn’t follow us, but we had plenty of other family heading in the same direction.  I assured him we’d be fine and kept driving.  Why would I worry?  Our van is older but has given us very little trouble over the years.  I drove all the way to Missouri last summer with the children.  Tonight we were just going 85 miles south.

Not 5 minutes later, I glanced at the dash and realized the van was overheating.  We passed a clock and thermometer: 26 degrees.  Ironic, no?

I called Dad, who was just a few minutes ahead of us in his big van.  He started making calls to see who was still behind us while I coasted into a gas station.  I checked and found we were low on coolant so I bought a jug of premixed antifreeze, hoping that would prove to be the only problem.

While I was adding it, Tennessee sister and her family pulled in next to us.  We could hardly cram into their single extra seat, but it was nice to see family.  We chatted a bit while she nursed her baby, and I went back into the gas station for a second jug.  While I was paying, I ran into my 11yo brother, 14yo sister and Mom.  They had come back to see if we needed help.  I had family coming out of the woodwork.

With the radiator filled and the reservoir topped off, I started the engine again.  It had cooled a bit in the last 20 minutes but as I watched the heat began to rise again.  The van would have to stay.  Dad and Kyle would bring the flatbed trailer up tomorrow to get my van.

We emptied the perishables and valuables into my sister’s trunk and piled the children into Dad’s 12 passenger van.  It was a bit crowded but not too bad since they only had 3 of their children riding with them.

On the long trip home Dad commented that he had been kicking himself for driving the van when he could have driven Mom’s smaller vehicle and saved on gas.  Now he understood.  God knew we’d be needing the extra seats on the way home.


  1. Hannah C. who is now Hannah O. says:

    I love seeing the pictures of your big family! I come from a family of nine, and I am really looking forward to seeing pictures of all of us when we are all grown up, have kids, and have to rent ballrooms for our family reunions (there are nine of us…if we all get married and have two children, that will be 40 people just with us! And I think chances are some of us will have more…)

    It is absolutely amazing how young your mom looks, and how young you look! It makes me wonder if my mom will look that young when she is your mom’s age. 🙂

  2. wow what fun looking at these pictures. I love them. Big families are so fun, GBU

  3. WOW! What is Grandma doing to look that good?! I would think the stress of having a huge family would have the opposite effect (but I come from a tiny family, so who knows? maybe I’m wrong!)

    I’ve just recently discovered this blog and love it! Which is particularly surprising considering how little I have in common with your family (single girl, living in a big city on the East Coast, who honestly can’t remember the last time she stepped foot in a church unless a funeral was being held…) but I think your writing is very funny and your frugal tips can easily be downsized and applied to a variety of situations. Keep up the good work!

  4. What a godly heritage!

    I love looking at the pictures.

  5. Big families are so much fun (I have 11 brothers and sister inlaw and 1 brother and 1 sister) Getting married into a big family was the best ! I always dream of having lots of brothers and sister growing up!

    Wow your mother look so young, I think having a big family keeps you young (My MIL look about my age and she is a grand mother funny!)

    And Thank God that you had all those family members helping you out after the van broke down!

  6. NOTHING beats a big family–I completely agree with you! and yes, your mom looks incredible!

  7. Your mom looks great. Doesn’t look much like a granny to me. 🙂

  8. Wow what neat pictures : )
    Your Mom looks WAY too young to have 14 and you look awesome for almost 10 as well. I hope/pray we have more(6 so far) : )

  9. LOVE all the pictures and all the family. You are SOOO blessed. If only the whole world knew the blessings of a large family. I pray hard I can give that to my children. P.s. Your mom looks AWESOME for having 14 children. So awesome…
    and you look AWESOME for having 9+.

  10. I LOVED these pictures! What a blessing for your parents! And what a heritage they have! Thanks for sharing them!

  11. One more permutation: line up in birth order. Then go back at look at the photos of when you were kids and you were lined up like that. It’s great being part of a large family. I’m the youngest of nine.

  12. i would have never picked your mom out of those beautiful women! you all look great! glad you got home all good

  13. All the photos are wonderful. My mother in law is mother to 11, grandmother to 48, ages 27-baby, great grandmother to almost 4 and she is only 65 years old. Isn’t it wonderful to be a part of such a huge group.

  14. It’s post like this that make me look very much forward to being a grandmother one of these days. 🙂 How fun. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Your family is fantastic and gorgeous! What a LOT of girls…..

    Your parents are surely deeply blessed of the Lord for being such fruitful vines. Your mom does look very young, and I attribute that to the joy of the Lord and her obedience to Him.

    That van!!! Isn’t it frustrating when your transportation is not working? God definitely was there for you in this situation!

  16. Karen Fay says:

    When a vehicle is overheating you need to run the heater. I know that it work as this happen to me once and I remember overhearing my dad tell my mom what to do the next time her old car overheated. It really works as the heater draws the heat off of the engine and into the car.

  17. I love how you include Sarah in all your counts. (At least I thought i only counted 22 in the grandkids pics.) We lost a little boy a couple of years ago, and i never know how to “add up” my kids. And, boy, do people look at you weird when they ask you how many kids you have and you stutter!! Thank you:)

  18. Do you have new coupon codes for CBD? I tried both of those and they said they were expired…

    I read your blog almost daily so I knew to come here for a code. 🙂 Thanks.

  19. You have a wonderful family, I can’t believe thats your Mom she looks great.

  20. That is your MOTHER???!!!! WOW! If that is what a mom and grandmother of many looks like then I will keep adding on to my brood of 8…

  21. Lovely family!

    Your mom and dad look great!

  22. Thanks for sharing this! I come from a small family, so sometimes it is hard to imagine life with so many littles… even though we are living it! The future looks bright!

  23. I love big families. I only have 1 brother, so I’m trying to make up with lots of children. 🙂 Just kidding, we take what the Lord gives us. 9, so far. Love the post.

  24. Boy!Did the Lord give you a FAMILY!
    They all look great!I have a BIG family
    but not at all like yours!Thank The Lord
    For Big Family’s!

  25. Multigenerational faithfulness at it’s best. Your family is so blessed, and your Momma does look great!
    – Kathi

  26. I’m just wondering, are all of your brothers and sisters Christians as well?

    • Emily,
      Secret beauty tips? Thank you; I’m flattered, and Mom would be, too. You should see her mom. We think it’s the Indian blood.

      Jennifer and Terri,
      I’m the oldest by 4 years. The rest of the children are about 2 years apart, give or take a few months. I don’t know how many will have large families; we are all professing Christians but like our Christian readers, we differ on many views of just how that applies to daily life, including birth control.

      Our baby will be #24, and #25 was announced this weekend. We didn’t find out yet; still haven’t decided if we will.

  27. So…grandchild 24? Are you at least going to tell us if you decided to “find out”? 😉 Beautiful family. I love the way everyone looks truly happy.

  28. I mean this as a huge compliment: How old is your mom? She looks fab. Thanks for sharing all your pics with us.

  29. Wow, what a family! How amazing! Kim, you must be one of the oldest kids, yes? Do you think that many of your siblings will also have lots of kids?

  30. Your mom looks about 36. I think I’m jealous. lol

    Great pics!

  31. We have a hard time getting a good shot of the six of us! I think the photos turned out great. Beautiful family.

  32. I have always been amazed at how young you look, but your mom, too. Incredible. I’d love to hear a post about you and your mom’s secret beauty tips. (:

  33. Your family is so wonderful! I was struck by how many of your sisters are redheads, and you’re one of the minority brunettes. Thanks for sharing!

  34. I don’t comment often, but I was simply amazed at how young your parents look! They beam with joy in every picture… But so do all of you! Thank you for posting these pictures, they are an inspiration.

  35. I love the pictures. The full sibling and parent shot won’t load for me and when I click on it, it says oops…

    I LOVE all the red hair.

  36. Okay finally got the family photo of the 14 of you all with your parents to load. What a nice photo!

  37. Luke is quite the character. Its hard to believe how big they are all getting. I still remember Gracie as a baby. they all grow up so quickly…mine too.

  38. So I take it Jonathan is getting married?! WOW!!! I will never forget that little 8 yo? boy we first met. Can he really be old enough to be getting married. Oh I know that he is and that he will make a great husband. He is such a good /great guy. But than you just have great brothers. Okay the photo of the fourteen of you and your parents is missing and I would like to see it. Would love to know what Jonathan and Kyle were up to.

  39. Beautiful family! I never tire of seeing the different creations the Lord makes from 2 parents! MIRACULOUS!!!!!!

  40. You have an awesome family! I seriously don’t know any families that are… well… *family*. It’s so cool to hear about.

    And I loved the photos!! Amazing and BOTH of your folks look sooooooooooo young! Incredible!!

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