Nine kids create organised chaos at home
By CHRIS LYNCHchrisl@gladstoneobserver.com.au
MOST parents will tell you raising children is a demanding job, but try having nine kids who are all under the age of 14.
Gladstone couple Trish and Geoff Honnery are the proud parents of Allan, Melissa, Rachel, Jessica, Chloe, Christine, Matthew, Amber and Daniel.
It's no Brady Bunch-type family either, the former Sydneysiders saying 'they're all ours'.
Dad says even though he sometimes gets their names mixed up, they all have their own unique personalities, likes and dislikes to cater for.
'They definitely keep me out of mischief,' he joked.
'It gets a bit hectic juggling work and what all these guys want to do, but we manage.'
The family gets a few second looks when they're driving in their Nissan Urvan, and meal time takes quite a bit of preparation.
'Yeah just the other day a bloke looked at us and then he had to have another look,' Trish laughed.
"It takes ages to make meals, and sometimes we'll have up to three different ones.'
Nine-year-old Rachel says there's plenty of arguments over the TV remote and the computer, but she was quick to point out that having plenty of play mates is adequate compensation.
Eleven-year-old Melissa said having an abundance of siblings was 'pretty awesome'.
Ten-year-old Jessica agreed, but said there usually had to be a vote on what to do because there were always so many suggestions.
Oldest son Allan is a bit outnumbered by the girls, so he likes to escape with a few hours playing video games when he can.
Matthew seems to be the entertainer of the family, and his energy would wear out most parents pretty quickly.
Dad reckons judging by the amount of his tools that go missing, he'd also make a good mechanic.
'He always takes my tools and hides them. Once he's used them they're his tools,' Mr Honnery said.
'He always has to get into everything and he loves undoing stuff with tools. I bought a set of screwdrivers and used them once or twice and now I can't find them.'
The girls all enjoy their days at Clinton State School, and they don't mind that the teachers have a hard time remembering who's who.
Some even plan to become teachers one day.
It's hard to keep them sitting still and by the end of the inter-view they are running around making all sorts of noises while mum and dad calmly remind them to chill out.
Then with a double thumbs up from Matthew, Trish heads back to work for a break while Geoff marshals the children home.
'So how many do you want to take with you?' he jokes.