Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Whole Crew

As I'm sure you have all noticed,  I write birthday letters to each of my siblings.   I do this to help keep the connection between and them alive.  After the last birthday letterKelly asked for more information about my family.  Kelly, consider this your answer.

I have 9 siblings, 5 sisters and 4 brothers.  I am the second child.  Yes, we all came from the same mother and father.  To satisfy any curiosity you might have,  here's what my family looks like.

[caption id="attachment_585" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Steve & Kim (Mom & Dad)"][/caption]

These are the leaders of our clan--Steve and Kim.  My dad is busy with work and my mom is busy keeping track of all their children.

[caption id="attachment_586" align="aligncenter" width="270" caption="The First Born: Ashley"][/caption]

Ashley is a buyer for HerTern, a boutique based out of Alaska.  She is gorgeous, successful, and everything I could have hoped for in an older sister.  She explores her photography and baking talents at her blog--Just {Ash}.

[caption id="attachment_587" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Raul, Brody, & Autumn"][/caption]

I have referred to Autumn a few times for the ultimate sacrifice she made a couple years ago.  She is now happily married to Raul and completely smitten with her son, Brody (who has Down's Syndrome).

[caption id="attachment_588" align="aligncenter" width="199" caption="Austin"][/caption]

Austin will be leaving to serve a 2-year mission to Peru in a couple of weeks.  He practically saved my sanity while I was pregnant with Andrew.  I will greatly miss him.

[caption id="attachment_598" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Aaron"][/caption]

Aaron is busy breaking girls' hearts.  He is an incredible athlete who has had to leave sports due to injuries.  He is a big goof ball.

[caption id="attachment_590" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Katelynn"][/caption]

Katelynn dreams of becoming a paramedic.  She brings balance to our family with her witty sense of humor and kind heart.

[caption id="attachment_591" align="aligncenter" width="199" caption="Alden"][/caption]

Alden is a strong boy.  His battle with Asperger syndrome often leaves him feeling confused and out of control.  His heart, though, remains untouched.  He is extremely compassionate--often the only sibling that can comfort a crying niece or nephew.

[caption id="attachment_592" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Abby"][/caption]

Abby is a happy, sweet, angelic little girl.  She enjoys snuggling and playing with her little friends.  She has a special place in Ben's heart.

[caption id="attachment_593" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Kaden"][/caption]

Kaden is the miracle baby.  As you can see, he has grown to be a handsome little boy.  He is adventurous, smart, and loving.

[caption id="attachment_594" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Alivia"][/caption]

Alivia was also a premature arrival, slipping into our family when we least expected it.   Yet,  she has made a name for herself as Queen Alivia.  She is completely a Daddy's girl.

There you have it--my family.  If you have any questions you'd like to ask about my siblings, my parents, or growing up in a large family, ask away.  I will do my best to provide well thought out answers.


  1. I love it!

    #1 - You have a gorgeous family. I didn't realize good looks were so genetic.

    #2 - Everyone looks so ... normal. Like 7th Heaven normal. I know 8 kids isn't rare for back in the day, it seems so exotic to me now.

    #3 - Do you plan to follow in your parents' footsteps by having a large family? Why/why not?

  2. Your family sounds amazing! I love that you have something good to say about each one of your siblings - it's evident that you love each of them very much and that you are a close, loving family.

  3. #1 - Thanks! My dad and mom have some good genes, I guess. : )

    #2 - Yes, we are quite normal. Well fed, well educated, and well adjusted. I know what you mean, though. Big families are usually associated with polygamy or some other extreme and don't usually look, well, normal.

    #3 - I was waiting for this question. This one may take up an entire post! I will try and give you a simple answer. I would like a large family, maybe not 10 kids, but somewhere between 4 and 8. I have a couple reasons. The first being that I am very comfortable with children. I know what it takes to balance my attention between multiple children. At the same time, I have a supportive husband who shares my goal. One of the greatest lessons my mother taught me was that patience is something you develop. She wasn't blessed with the patience for raising 10 children at birth, but she developed that patience as more and more children were added to their family. My mother is the first to admit they didn't plan on having 10 children, it just worked out that way.

    My other reason is religious. I am Mormon but that isn't why I want a large family. I believe that children are being sent to Earth and will come whether or not I choose to have them. I feel that I would much rather have them come to my home, where I will love and nurture them, then to have them sent to another home in which they would be neglected and abused. There is much more to this answer but that is my belief in a nutshell.

  4. Thank you for stopping by! I do love them all very much. The hardest part about not living close to them is not getting to see them grow. I am glad that they all read my blog regularly. : )

  5. That's a fascinating view on parenting, Amber. I have never thought of it that way before. Sounds like fodder for another post!

  6. Your family is beautiful! (And I loved your response to Kelly's question about your plans for kids.)

    I see a few intriguing names in there. Care to comment on the name choices?

  7. Oh my gosh, I love this! THANK YOU so much for sharing this with us - what a beautiful family. I struggle a bit with this, because I want to keep a certain level of anonymity on my blog... but I also want to share photos and details with you. So thank you for being generous and introducing us to your family.

  8. (And yes, I did notice the "A" and "K" starting letters.) Is that why your older sister lives in Alaska?


  9. I love big families! and yours is beautiful!

  10. The love and connection you and your siblings and parents share is apparent. What a wonderful family! (And to reiterate Eva's comment, thank you for sharing them with us!)

  11. What a beautiful family :) You put so much love in your words, it's palpable Amber!

  12. This question is a fun and easy one!

    We actually all have names that begin with "A." The three "K" names are middle names.

    I lived with my family in Alaska for three years. When my parents moved back to their original home, my sister decided to stay. She has made quite a name for herself!

  13. As they say in Italy, my family is your family. (I don't really know if they say that in Italy, but I think I picked that up somewhere.)

  14. You are very welcome! I did call them up beforehand to ask permission because I wanted to make sure they were okay with it.

    As for anonymity--I tried that initially. I sucked at it. Similar to that story you shared with me sometime this year about a lady and her name changes. I couldn't remember who know my real name and who knew my fake name. In the end, I gave up. I don't give my address away though! : )

  15. Kim(Mom of tribe)April 20, 2010 at 2:54 AM

    Just looking at all those beautiful faces makes me want to cry. I love them all so much and I love that they are different but love each other. It is so weird to be having them leave as quickly as they came. Wanting to hold on to the moments even more because I know how quickly time goes by.
    Amber forgot to put Grandma's picture she is like having another child and she was such a good Grandma when the kids where smaller and now she is very hard for us all because we have to take care of her like a child.
    I wish I was blessed with the ability to write like Amber. I would have a lot to say.

  16. You've got a great family! Thanks for introducing us.

  17. I have tears in my eyes looking at the pictures of your family and the captions you wrote for them. I hope to have a big family too and it inspires me to see your parents smiling and sane after working so hard to raise such a beautiful and bountiful brood!

    Thank you for sharing with us, Amber.

  18. Wow! I loved meeting your family. It's nice to see the faces that go with the names and stories. You are one lucky girl to have that many siblings all from the same parents, and getting along with one another. I have 5 half brothers and it's really hard having different mom and dad's. You have a beautiful family!

  19. Thanks for letting us get to know you better, Amber. You have an amazing family. I feel like I knew some of them already because of the posts or stories you've written about them.

    Here are my questions: How old is each sibling? And is everyone adhering to your faith? I know in my family I can't say that, so I was wondering if retaining your faith is stronger with yours. I would imagine it is.

  20. Thanks! And you are very welcome!

    As for their ages...let's see if I can remember. : ) Ashley-24 Autumn-21 Austin-19 Aaron-17 Katelynn-15 Alden-12 Abby- 9 Kaden- 7 Alivia- 6

    Almost all of them do. In our religion we strongly believe in personal conversion. If a child chooses to follow a different path we still love them, even if we do disagree. This is why we are able to maintain a strong relationship with each other. I hope that answers your question!

  21. That was very nice, I enjoyed it. Sometimes I want to break out of my anonymity so that I can share more. Posts like this make me consider it.

  22. They're all beautiful! I must admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for the ladies man. :)

  23. Thank you so much Amber for sharing all of this with us! As one of two kids and a relationship that is difficult between my brother and I, I am so envious of what is obviously a tight bond between you all. I can only DREAM of having such a large, loving family. Your parents obviously have done (and continue to do) an amazing job with you all. And I can't wait to continue your adventure with you as you add more and more to your brood! :)

  24. You should probably admit to everyone that I am your favorite child.

  25. I love Alivia...what a pretty name and spelling!

  26. Oh wow, I love it! What a great family!
    You know, we ALMOST named Alayna "Autumn" But in the end, Luke decided he wanted Alayna.

  27. I knew there was a reason I liked you. ;) I'm the second oldest of nine kids. We second oldests, we sort of rock.

  28. I am obviously super late here, but I just had to comment on this. Beautiful family, beautiful words. Just when I recently decided that 2 is enough, I am back to reconsidering :)


Comments are disabled.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.