November 09, 2011 10:52 AM by Beth Stewart
The very popular 19 Kids And Counting is back on TLC. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have realized for some time that fans want to know all about one of the world’s best known families. Consequently the Duggar’s decided to ask viewers to send in questions for the family to answer. Viewers submitted them through TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting Facebook page, Twitter, the family’s website and videos.
Most of the questions were about exactly how the house runs, who does what and when and generally how so many people get along so well. Members of the family took turns answering and giving their fans an insight into what makes this family tick. How many loads of laundry per day? Ten. How many grocery carts do they use on a shopping trip? Four to seven. How many cereal boxes do they go through each day? Four. Viewers were also interested in the biggest challenges the family faces. Jim Bob said that moving the group as a unit was his biggest challenge for him as it requires several vehicles and a lot of prep. The teenage girls thought laundry was the biggest challenge.
One very interesting question that was asked of Michelle and Jim Bob was, “Why are you bringing 19 children into a world that’s overpopulated?” Both of them replied that it’s a myth that the world is overpopulated and that Arkansas has a lot of unpopulated areas. In fact they said the whole world’s population could fit into the city limits of Jacksonville, Florida.
The Duggar’s have a deep faith so religion plays a big part in their lives; in the values they teach the children and goals that they all have. These answers were peppered with their stance on dancing, dating, values, and goal-setting. We also learned the difference between courtship and dating as they see it. Courtship is more of a commitment than dating but doesn’t include any physical intimacy before marriage. Even kissing is a negotiable aspect between the courting couples.
The highlight of the show was when Jim Bob gathered everyone together under the ruse of a long overdue family picture. Then he said he had a big announcement. Michelle surprised the children by loudly saying, “Mama’s gonna have another baby!” There was dead silence, a few cries of, “Really?” and when the news sunk in, the kids whooped, hollered, and made all kinds of other wonderful kid noises. Jim Bob held up an ultrasound picture of the baby for everyone to see.
Josh added more levity by saying that he had an announcement of his own, that Anna was not pregnant!
When asked what she thought of the children’s reaction, Michelle said they thought they were shocked but also very excited. Her commitment to the children is obvious and she said she’s willing and happy to lay down her life for her children. Jim Bob feels like the richest man in the world. It’s going to be 20 kids and counting soon.
Michelle summed it up best for both of them by saying they are grateful beyond words for this new life that God has blessed them with. However, being pregnant at forty-five, she acknowledges that there will be concerns about her health and that of this new baby.
Their last baby Josie was premature and had very serious health issues when she was born.
The Duggar’s say that the reason they do the show is to encourage other people to enjoy their families just as they do.
Coming up next week, the family will begin their European tour in Ireland and Scotland. It should be a lot fun watching the family enjoy all the new experiences ahead of them in the weeks to come.
It’s actually very impressive how well this family gets along and how much fun they seem to have. What do you think it would be like having or living in such a large family? Feel free to leave your comments.