About Laurel Diacogiannis & her Blog
Laurel is a winner of Top 25 Moms with Big Families - 2012
Did you always want a big family? If not, when did you change your mind?
I remember in 5th and 6th grade reading magazine articles about extra large families and families that adopted, and knowing that was exactly what I wanted to be: "A Mom of an Extra Large Family".
When we got married, my husband and I told everyone that we wanted to have 6 children. Everyone told us we would change our minds. Now, we laugh and tell them that, yes, we changed our minds. After the first 6, we decided to have 6 more.
What's a common misconception about big families?
#1 "Large Families Don't Believe in Birth Control" Now, while I do not believe that all forms of birth control are good, we have several children that came despite our efforts to "plan" a little better. We were thrilled, but not every one of our children was specifically "planned" for that time.
#2 "Life is always Loud and Out-of-Control" While we can get loud (just the shear volume of all of our voices trying to be heard) . . . and we do have a lot of loud, crazy, fun . . . life is NOT very often out-of-control at our house. When I have friends over, they often comment, "I can't believe there are actually _____ children here. You didn't tie them up and gag them, did you?"
#3 "The Older Children Must Raise the Younger Children" In some families, this is certainly the case. In our family, I am definitely the mom, always have been always will be. All of our kids pitch in for family "chores". We all play our part on the team. We all work hard to keep the family running like a well-oiled machine. However, we have worked hard to not put too much responsibility on our older children.
How many children do you have? What's the age difference between the oldest and youngest?
We have 12 children. Our oldest is 28 and our youngest is 10. We had 10 biological children, before we adopted our 2 girls from Ghana in 2008.
We have 6 boys and 6 girls. We have 6 kids in their 20's and 6 younger kids. Out of the 6 older kids, 3 are girls and 3 are boys. Out of our 6 younger kids, 3 are girls and 3 are boys.
We recently had 4 kids get married in 14 months, so we now have 16 children (and spouses). We have 1 grandchild, and another on the way. Grandbaby #2 will give us an even 20 in the immediate family.
What are your favorite blog posts?
What's on your bucket list of things to do with your kids this summer?
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I "only" have 6 kids left at home this summer (with 6 already grown and gone). My older teens will spend much of the summer working at a local berry farm, which leaves me with the younger 4 (ages 10, 10, 12, 13).
Since my husband has spent much of this past year unemployed, and with gas prices so high, the kids are I are looking forward to focusing on a lot of local fun (whereas we usually head out on cross country road trips).
We will try to visit every park in our county, visit a few museums, have BBQs at the beach, and play a lot of board games and card games in the evenings and on rainy days.
What's a great present for a tween?
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As the mother of a dozen children, I have bought a LOT of presents for "tween-agers". My favorites for this age are: books (it's a great time to help them develop a love for reading); art kits (so important to help them develop creativity); sporting equipment (because they need to get outside and play); and science kits (academic and fun all wrapped up in one). I do not purchase movies, video games, or electronics for this group, as I believe they need to develop their minds (with creative and critical thinking skills), as well as working to be physically fit. So many of our kids nowadays are missing these critical activities for brain development and physical development.