Sunday, January 27, 2008

12 Kids Underfoot

Ever wonder what it would be like to have lots of kids living in your house? Have you adopted once and wonder if you will end up with a bunch more because you won’t be able to kick the habit? Well, we got to see what life would be like having 12 kids from 5-12 years old for a few nights when good friends of ours traveled out of town. It was an enlightening experience. Here are some of the things that we learned.

It takes a lot of food. CrazyMom whipped up a box (that is a whole box) of pancake mix for pancakes one morning and they ate it all. For supper one night we had spaghetti and meatballs. CrazyMom cooked a 3 lb box of spaghetti, added 3 jars of sauce to some meatballs, opened up 4 cans of green beans. They ate it all along with a whole gallon of milk. Try to picture what they would eat 7 years from now when they would all be between 12 and 19 instead of from 5 to12 years old. Here is a shot of 10 of the kids at lunch one day.

There are crazy moments and then there are calm moments. At one point the kids were all over the place. There were kids everywhere and it was loud in the house. Nobody was doing anything they shouldn’t be doing; it was just a lot of kids. CrazyMom and I slipped away to the office in the back corner of the house for a little space from the noise. After talking for a few minutes we realized the house was completely quiet. Struck with panic we set out to find the kids. All twelve were in one room quietly playing (or watching) a game of Monopoly.

You can’t go anywhere without people staring. We decided to take the kids out to see an African children’s choir one night. It is pretty bad when you own a twelve passenger van and you still have to take two cars. Well, you just can’t walk in anywhere these days with twelve kids without people staring. Everyone acted like they have never seen a large family before.

It takes a concerted effort to make sure you connect with each child during the day. You interact will kids all of the time, but that does not mean that you are interacting with each kid. If you only have six, you think to yourself, “Gee, I haven’t seen Buddy in a while.” You then check in with him and catch up on what he is doing. With 12 kids it is easy to lose track of who you have seen and who you have not seen. You need to keep a list of the kids names so you can look it over now and again to remind yourself of the names of kids you might not have seen around recently.

Messes happen fast. No sense in trying to keep the house picked up during the day. Messes just happen too fast.

Many hands make light work. So you have a massive mess in the house. Not a problem at all when you have a dozen kids to pick it up. When the time comes you simply announce that it is time to clean up and within minutes the whole job is done.

It takes a big couch. We bought one recently when we finished the basement and boy, did it come in handy.

When people would hear that we had 12 kids at out house they would just shake their heads. But it was actually a great time. The kids had tons of fun and CrazyMom and I did too.


Kris Long said...

A good friend is hard to find. You are a good friend. LOVE the pictures!

Tim said...

this makes me smile.

Anonymous said...

great post...and the couch video made me chuckle. jcn

Kelly said...

I love the video on the couch! Awesome! You are good friends to my sister!

Jim & Laurel said...

I just discovered your blog. Great post! We are the parents of 13 children, so this is our reality.

I just got home this past week after a month in Ghana, and my husband is still there with our 3 children, awaiting our I600 approval.