Sixteen kids, and still time for a Web site

Arkansas


Lynn Harris
October 25, 2005 3:32AM (UTC)

If you think about it, Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for 10 and a half years. Perhaps you've heard about her. On Oct. 11, the Arkansas über-mom, 39, gave birth to her 16th child, Johanna. The home-schooled brood (ages 1-17, including two sets of twins) all have names beginning with J, as in Jesus, or as in Jim Bob, their dad, a former state rep who is considering a second run for Senate. The couple had their first child when Michelle was 21, four years after their wedding.

Perhaps, however, given the demands of your child, or your fertility treatments, you have not taken a moment to visit the family's Web site, jimbob.info. Here's where you can find not only the Duggars' home telephone number but also answers to frequently asked questions, such as "How do you make a household of 17 people run smoothly?" and "Where can I purchase modest swimwear?" (See Favorite Websites.) As to the former, key answers seem to be: Create a sibling "buddy" system, keep all clothing in one giant family closet, and have a piano teacher who likes to fold laundry. According to the Web site's FAQ, the Duggars keep the family on a tight, packed schedule: From breakfast at 8 to bedtime at 10, there's phonics, math, violin, piano, Bible study. The children especially enjoy learning Scripture, Michelle writes, "because they make up motions to help with memorization." Such as? Well, according to one article linked to from the site, "The children and Michelle recite a new Bible passage each morning, and they have actions to go with the words. For instance, when reciting Exodus 20, verses 1-17, the children run a finger along their necks in a quick swipe, as if killing themselves, as they read the passage, 'Thou shall not kill.'"

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The above article appears at QuiverFull.com, another Duggar Family Favorite Website. Quiverfull, according to its Web site, is an organization for families "who eagerly accept their children as blessings from God, and eschew birth control, natural family planning and sterilization." And, it must be inferred, membership in EcoFuture. Why "quiverfull"? The answer's on the Quiverfull home page: "Lo, Children are an heritage of the Lord: And the fruit of the womb is His reward. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them." It's from Psalms, though it sounds like something that should have been blocked by the Duggars' NetNanny.

Hungry now? There are also recipes, including Duggars' Taco Soup, Tater Tot Casserole ("One of Daddy's Favorites!") and a remarkable confection called Layered Ice Cream Cake.

Layered Ice Cream Cake

24 ice cream sandwiches
8 oz. Cool Whip(tm)
1 Hershey's(tm) chocolate syrup bottle
1 Smuckers(tm) caramel syrup bottle
2 king-size Butterfinger(tm) candy bars chopped up

1st layer: 12 ice cream sandwiches
2nd: half of whipped cream
3rd: half of Butterfinger(tm) bars, Squeeze 1/2 of caramel & chocolate over that.
4th: rest of ice cream sandwiches
5th: Cool Whip(tm)
6th: rest of Butterfinger(tm), caramel & chocolate. Yummy! Yummy!

Note to non-Duggars: For all recipes, divide all quantities by 9.

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Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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