The Stockdale Family Band

Sharing Bluegrass North of the Mason-Dixon Line

The Stockdale Family Band performs a combination of Bluegrass and Gospel with a touch of Appalachian music and comedy.  Father, Tim, and brothers Calvin, Charles, Jacob, and James often spend kitchen and farm chore time together singing their favorite songs and honing their harmonies.  

Their 5 piece band includes guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and bass. Audiences find the Stockdale boys affection for people and enthusiasm for bluegrass music welcoming and infectious.

The family band has played for Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, Pennyroyal Opera House, Ohio Valley Opry, community concerts, festivals, churches, parties, and schools. They have earned first place in 3 regional band contests and 2nd in a national “Youth in Bluegrass” band contest. Jacob is a Ohio State Fiddle Grand Champion.

With an entertaining and down-home style stage show, the Stockdales provide a bluegrass show that the whole family is sure to enjoy.

Tonkovic Family Manual

WELCOME TO OUR HOME!

Everybody knows when the Tonkovics are throwing a party we can have 150 kids out here; dancing, laughing, hooking up, fooling around together. We're famous for our parties; even the sheriff drops by sometimes to make sure no-one is drinking and driving. We would never let that happen we have an open door policy so if you've had a drink you're welcome to crash out in the basement along with everybody else.

I'm called "Mama T" by my children's friends, and my husband is known as "El Supremo". Together we are the heads of the Tonkovic clan. Our kids' friends come and go as they please in our home. I don't like it when it's quiet. When I hear people talk and laugh I know they're having fun. It's important for me to know that people are happy. That's why we make sure we provide a home that people feel comfortable being themselves in. When my guests are happy, I'm happy. Being around kids keep us young!

Our son Paul is a rapper known as T-VIC. He raps about sex, violence, current affairs, whatever he's feeling at the time! He's really creative, but his raps can be a bit graphic and his language is terrible but that's rap I guess. He's pretty serious about his rap and he's so good at it, I can't imagine that he won't succeed. Mama T and El Supremo are behind him all the way.

Our daughter Meghan is a real beauty. She's been modelling for 2 years. She's modelled clothes in magazines and swim suits on the internet. She's trying to move into video. She's already been featured as a dancer in a local music video so we've all got really high hopes for her success. Me and her father are extremely proud of what she's achieved so far.

We feel that education is a wonderful thing, but it's important for our kids to know that they can't learn everything from a book! Life skills and common sense can take you farther than anything you learn in school. If they slip up with their grades it's ok because we know that good grades do not equal good character!

Our kids' partners also live with us. Hector is Meghan's boyfriend he sleeps in the basement, because Meghan is only 17. I am very open with her about sex and contraception but Hector still sleeps downstairs as a mark of respect to me and El Supremo. Because they are a little bit older Paul and his girlfriend Samantha share a bedroom. As El Supremo says " I'd rather it happen under our roof than somewhere on the street!"

The kids get an easy ride here. They don't listen to us, so we've given up trying to get them to do anything round the house. Chores are for little kids anyway. The kids know that if they want money for anything all they have to do is just ask. I control the purse strings in our house. None of the kids have jobs, except for Paul, but who knows how long that will last! If anyone, including my husband John, needs money for cigarettes, gas for the car, or a few bucks for snacks, they know to come to me.

The family spends a lot of time fishing because it's a fun activity that everyone enjoys and the lake is right across the street! If the kids aren't hanging out in the house you can find them nearby, fishing and just hanging out! The kids are into fishing so much that they have stayed out until 5 in the morning just waiting for a big catch!

We think it's very important for children to be able to express themselves. I don't want to raise children that are sheltered and have no concept of what the real world is like! We think that children should be given the freedom to make mistakes. We believe that, "You must let your children fall in order to stand tall"!

We are the TONKOVIC's. Laurie (45), John (52), Paul (20), Meghan (17), Hector Sivero(19), and Samantha Nyman(20).

KIDS

What kind of parent are you?

We're laid back parents. I believe life experiences are the most important thing to shape children. If I sheltered my kids and kept them from the world I would be doing them a disservice. I think that a parent who micromanages everything their kids do and shelters them is awful because the kids aren't prepared for real life.

Do you parent like you were parented?

I think we both got the basic tools on how to raise children from our parents. But we definitely don't parent the way we were parented. Our home is much more open. It's okay to make mistakes here. My kids tell me things I could never tell my parents. John was a hellraiser and a heartbreaker growing up. He never thought he'd see 21, so there isn't anything the kids could tell him that he would find shocking. The kids know they have nothing to hide from us, because chances are we've experienced the same thing already.

Do you and your partner disagree about parenting?

We disagree on punishments, and how little we really do punish the kids. For instance, when Paul gets a speeding ticket John will want to take away the car. But I don't see the point in doing that. The kid already got the speeding ticket. His punishment is finding a way to pay the fine.

Are your children well behaved?

The worst thing you can say about them is that they are always cussing around here and not lifting a finger to pick up anything and even though I spend a lot of time screaming at them to clean up their language or the house, nothing seems to work. I would like a little more help around the house from the kids, but I don't know how to make that happen.

What are your hopes and dreams for your children?

I think my children have what it takes to follow their dreams. Rap music is Paul's life. He has the skills and talent. He can pick up an instrument and make it happen. I help him out by buying his microphone, the producing equipment, the keyboard, and his guitar. It's important for me to know that he is happy and feels supported.

His lyrics are graphic, I know. Paul will be the first one to tell you that his music is vulgar and explicit. . I hear the same if not worse from other rappers out there. His lyrics are part of the music, not him. When I see him perform and see the way crowds react to him at open-mic nights, I know he's doing the right thing.

Meghan is a model, but I don't know if she wants to do it forever. She loves kids and talks about owning a day care or being a pre-school teacher. But as a model, she's a born natural. She loves it and she's so good at it. She also has dreams of being an actress but has trouble reading and memorizing her script.

The most important thing for my children is to be happy and to be okay with how they end up as adults. They don't have to be super successful in their careers, but if they enjoy life and are proud of who they are, then I've done my job.

What are your feelings about chores?

We don't have chores in this house! It's not worth the time and aggravation we spend fighting with our kids to get things done, so we just do it ourselves and get it over with. Eventually things get done, and they are rarely done by anyone but me!

Do you have house rules?

The closest things we have to house rules are for the kids to make sure none of their friends' park in the driveway and that we have no tolerance for drinking and driving.

Do you discipline your children? How often and for what?

We don't discipline our children because they don't listen to anything we say and grounding doesn't work because they're too old. We tried to ground Meghan once and she just laughed at us and said, "I'm not in fifth grade anymore." I didn't find that amusing, but I'm terrible at sticking to any punishments I make for the children.

How often do you and your children talk?

When do we not talk? We talk all the time about everything and anything and I mean anything.

How much time do you spend without your children?

We barely spend anytime away from our children because they are such a huge part of our lives. The only time spent away from the children is when John and I are at work.

COOKING & MEALS

Who cooks for the family?

If you're hungry, eat! Nobody cooks for the family in a formal way. We all decide on what we are going to eat and we get to it. Everyone here is old enough to feed themselves so they don't need to ask for my permission. If we decide we want to grill some burgers or steaks - Hector and Dad are doing it because they like to grill. Paul is great with breakfast like cheesy eggs and pancakes. Other than that, you can find us eating any type of junk food from sugared cereal to ice cream to fill us up. Our kitchen is open 24/7!

Does anyone else ever cook? Who and why?

There are always snacks being made, and numerous people coming in and out of the house eating them. We have a very help yourself mentality when it comes to eating around here.

Do you all eat together and where do you eat?

We eat all over the house. Even if we are eating at the same time, we are never all in the same place. You can always find John eating on the couch in front of the TV and the kids eat a lot of food in their rooms. You can find plates of half eaten food and cans of soda all over this house!

What are your top three dinners? Please include recipes.

What dinners? We don't cook entire dinners. We're a family of people who snack all the time. Some of our favorites are:

1) Guacamole

8 avocados 1 large onion 1 large tomato

Peel the Avocado's and take the pits out, chop up the onion, and the tomato and put it all in a bowl. Add a little lemon juice and salt. Stir up until creamy and serve.

2) Vegetable Salad

1 head of cauliflower 1 package of broccoli 1 package of mild cheddar cheese 1 package of mozzarella cheese 1 bottle of Ranch Dressing 1 large Vidalia onion

Chop everything up and add the cheese. Add the dressing you might not need a whole bottle of dressing, you need to taste it and see how much is needed. Stick your hands in the bowl to mix the ingredients.

3) Burger Nights!

We love to go through the drive thru to get fast food burgers. One night a week, so we get them by the bagful and bring them back to the house.

How often do you eat out at restaurants? Do you take the kids?

We eat out with the kids at restaurants once a week, but there is no limit to how much take out food this family consumes. We're no strangers to drive-thrus and we have pizza delivered to the house a few times a week.

What kind of restaurants do you go to?

We go out for Italian a lot and we have a Japanese Steak House that we love to go to for special occasions.

We love to try something different and eat a variety of foods, because we are a family that loves to eat. Everything goes here, from Mexican food to practically any other type of ethnic food you can imagine. It's kind of like a smorgasbord!

How often do you or your family eat fast/junk food? What kind do you eat?

Junk food is all we really eat around here. We never run out of chips, dips, snacks, and soda pop. We are always stopping for burgers at drive-thru's whenever we get hungry! It's quick and much easier than trying to cook a meal at home that's going to please everybody. Too many people worry about dying from fast food, but you know what, you're going to die of something!

EDUCATION

How do you feel about education?

There's a lot more knowledge you can gain from the street than out of a book. Education is important, but there are many ways to get one that have nothing to do with reading books or getting good grades. Some people are meant to go to school and some aren't. You can read every book in the world, and not know a damn thing about what's going on next door!

I don't think it's important for kids to get straight A's because I know my kids are trying as hard as they can. They can bring home their D's on their report card, but I know they've given their all. I can't ask for more than that.

Did you or your partner go to college?

I did go to college but I never graduated. I ended up getting a certification. John and I got our education through on the job training and classes. We both feel that books can only take a person so far.

Do you home school your children?

We don't homeschool because it doesn't teach kids about life, it isolates them. Kids need to be around people. It's really important that kids go to high school and learn to be social around peers their own age, and experience the high school years for themselves. Part of getting an education is learning about life, the "drama" of being a teenager, and meeting new people. When you're home schooling, you're staying in a house doing nothing and I don't think that's good for kids at all.

What schools can provide, you can't get at home. The kids you meet in school can be the friends you have for life. When you home school your children, you are only allowing your kids to be exposed to your opinions, to your experiences and you aren't allowing your child to develop on their own. I believe it's important for kids to express themselves and they can't do that properly when they are being held back from the world in a sheltered environment.

Are there any rules about homework?

We've never had any rules about homework because we think it's the children's responsibility to get their work done on their own.

Is it important that your children go to college?

I'd like the kids to go to college but I know it's not for everyone. For John and I school it was social hour. John was a swimmer and had no time for homework. I just conned my teachers to get by and they ended up loving me! We never graduated with our classes, but we got our GED's and made out great. Finding a trade and working with your hands is a fine living and nothing to be ashamed of because some of the best jobs aren't found in an office.

LEISURE AND SOCIAL LIFE

What do you do as a family?

We don't have "scheduled" family time, but we try to do a lot together as a family. We love playing cards, especially poker. We have a 5 buck buy in to play, but if the kids aren't working and don't have the money we chip in. The only catch is, if the kids win, we don't see a penny of that money. If we're lucky we might get our five dollars back.

What do you do as a couple?

We don't do much as a couple. Maybe we go to an occasional work party together or something but we never have date nights. At the last holiday work party of mine that we went to, John got so trashed that I had to hold him up to keep him from falling over. I don't think we'll go back next year.

Do your kids have their own social life outside of the family?

If we're not having a party here, the kids go over to friends' homes to attend parties. I know all the kids that my children hang out with. I don't like them all, but I don't believe it's my job to pick and choose my children's friends. The kids will hang out with bad elements more if I protest, so I let them learn on their own from their decisions. They usually see that I was right in the end. You have to let them learn from their own mistakes.

How much of a role do friends play in your life?

Friends play a huge role in our life. I consider my children's friends to be our friends as well. It's all about the open door policy that John and I have here in the house. It comes from love. We want to create a place where kids are free to be whomever they want. We have brought so many of our children's friends into this family because we want to provide them with a loving home. I enjoy being around the kids, and want them to feel that this a safe place for them to be whomever they want without judgement or consequence. The kids keep us young and we thrive just being around them!

This is definitely a party house! We've had parties here with 150 people in the house and yard. We always know what's going on here. We would rather it all happen under our roof instead of somewhere out in the street where people don't have their best interests at heart.

HOUSEHOLD

What are your general views on cleaning?

I hate to clean because it's no fun and it takes away from time that could be spent just enjoying life. There has to be a health hazard happening for me to really buckle down and do it!

Cleaning isn't that important to us. It's not unusual to see 10 or 12 empty soda cans on a table just waiting to be picked up. The philosophy is, "We'll get to it when we get to it." When John starts to see the kids' fingerprints on the light switches, then he'll spring into action and lend a hand when it comes to cleaning.

How do you divide the roles?

In this house, I am responsible for the day to day mini- cleanups and my husband John is the main provider.

The kids are great at making a mess in the house, and not much else! The most you will see is Hector offering to cut the grass every two weeks or so. Paul is supposed to take out the garbage but it never happens. I would get on the kids more for not taking a part in cleaning up, but I get tried of yelling at them. It's just easier if I do it myself.

Do you have a cleaning person or hired help?

We used to have a cleaning person a couple of years ago and it was great. Eventually, she became lazy and started to slack off, because she started to get to know us and felt she could take advantage of us because we are nice people. It became a waste of money! We decided we didn't need a cleaning person after all and it's not like we live in Beverly Hills where having a maid is a regular thing.

Who does the following, and how often:

Vacuuming & Dusting?

My husband and I vacuum 2 times a week downstairs. We never touch the upstairs because it takes too long and we consider the upstairs to be the kids space.

We've tried to clean the upstairs before, but as soon as we finish, the kids make sure to mess it up again. What's the point in wasting our time cleaning up after them? If they want to live that way it's their prerogative!

Cleaning the bathroom?

We try to clean the downstairs bathrooms once a week. John hates cleaning out toilet bowls, so he compromises by straightening the towels and I go back and finish the rest.

The kids' bathrooms upstairs are disaster areas! If you have to use their bathrooms, I suggest two things: 1) Watch your step because the floor is covered in dirty clothes and wet towels and 2) Check for toilet paper before you go to the bathroom.

The kids are so inconsiderate when it comes to changing toilet paper rolls when they start to run low. If there is one piece of toilet paper left on the roll, in their minds, there's enough there for the next person to use!

Clothes washing & ironing?

I hate to do laundry, because it takes up too much time, so the laundry is not done very often. I tell the kids that if they don't feel like washing, they are welcome to start digging through the pile of clothes in their rooms and on the washing room floor! They're bound to find something in those piles of clothes that they can wear again.

Air freshener goes a long way in this house because it covers up the smell of our clothes in between washes. We don't iron because most of our clothes don't need it, and if they do need ironing, we avoid wearing them. We use the ironing board as a shelf for storage. You can find crumpled up clothes and soda cans just resting on our ironing board!

Cleaning the kitchen?

I clean the kitchen maybe twice a week, but nothing too intense. I definitely wouldn't consider it deep cleaning! Meghan will help occasionally if she was in there making guacamole or some other kind of snack, and feels like cleaning up.

The fridge can get pretty bad because nobody in the house takes the initiative to clean it. As long as the food doesn't go so bad that it starts to grow mold and move around on its own, we don't care what the condition of the fridge may be.

Other?

If the floors ever get washed around here, it's once a month at best. I just can't get down on my hands and knees anymore, so it goes undone unless John sees a mess and helps out.

It takes a lot of garbage or dishes to pile up before some one takes the initiative around here. Our theory is, "If you can stick your mess on the pile without anything falling off, you're good!"

When I run out of plates and cups downstairs I yell at the kids to go through their rooms and bring down all the dishes so I can wash them and put them back in the cupboard so we have something to eat with. If I didn't do that, we would all be eating with our hands!

PETS

How many pets do you have and what do they require?

I take care of the three cats in our home. They eat hard food and water. Two times a day they are given little snack packets of tuna meal or chicken meal.

SHOPPING

Who does the grocery shopping?

I do the shopping at the grocery store but the girls come with me because I like the company, and they are the only ones up before noon. I think the real reason they like to come shopping for groceries is so that when I'm not looking they can throw whatever crap they want into the shopping cart. They know I never put up a fuss because by the time we get to the cash register and pay I'm too exhausted to make them put everything back.

How often?

We end up going to the grocery store twice a week. We go through food quick so we have to go twice a week so we don't run out of everything we like to eat. We are always buying soda pop, toilet paper, and garbage bags.

I have spent up to 250 dollars a week on sodas, chips, dips, doughnuts, frozen pizzas and snacks for the house. It costs a lot of money to feed my family and all of the kids in the neighborhood!

Who chooses what is bought?

I shop for the basics every week. However, when I'm not looking, the girls put whatever they want into the cart. Half the time, I don't even know what I'm buying until I get to the cash register and have to pay for it all.

WEEKDAY

MORNING ROUTINE

What time do you get up?

I've always been an early bird, so I normally wake up around 5:30 in the morning to start the day and play on my computer for about an hour. It gives me a little time by myself to relax before I have to start thinking about going to work or running my daily errands.

What time does everyone else get out of bed?

John gets up anywhere from 9:00 to 11:00 in the morning, takes a shower and putzs around the house playing pool in the basement and listening to his stereo before leaving for work. I wake the girls up around noon and we go out for breakfast or do something fun like go to the beach or the neighborhood pool. The boys wake when they feel like it, they are usually up by 3:00 in the afternoon at the latest.

Are you 'morning people?'

I consider myself a morning person surrounded by night owls because I am the only person who is up by what most people consider a decent hour.

What is the morning routine in your house?

I wake up around 5:30 in the morning and get in the shower by 6:30. By 8:00 in the morning I like to be out of the house so I can run my errands which are going to the bank, refilling on groceries if we've had a few people over the night before, or just going shopping. John is around the house getting ready for work. The house stays pretty quiet until about noon when I wake the girls up.

Who prepares breakfast? Does the family eat it together?

Sometimes breakfast happens so late that it turns into lunch. We go out 3 to 4 times a week for breakfast at a restaurant in our neighborhood. If we wait long enough Paul will make the cheesy eggs that Samantha taught him how to make or he'll make his famous pancakes.

What time do the kids leave for school?

Meghan leaves at 8:30 in the morning. She never makes it to the bus, even though the bus stops right in front of our house. Sometimes John yells to her that the bus is coming, just to see her run around and go crazy. Whoever has time in the morning will drive her to school, and we end up getting her there around 9:00 AM.

As far as schooling goes for the rest of the kids, Paul and Hector have chosen not to go to college, and are currently trying to figure out their next move. This doesn't worry us, because we know that the kids will figure out their lives for themselves. Samantha is enrolled at a local college and is currently on summer break.

Do you ever get to sleep in?

I don't like to sleep in. Sleeping in is for the kids. They have the rest of their lives to wake up early.

DAYTIME

What is your schedule for the day?

Once we get back from breakfast, around noon, the girls and I will come back home and see what the boys are doing. If the girls and I are having fun, we'll skip coming back home to check up on the boys and go ahead and get manicures and pedicures. I love getting my pedicures! Occasionally, Meghan and I also will get our hair done by Samantha here at the house. She cuts Paul and Hector's hair too. Even though Samantha doesn't work in a salon, she went to beauty school, so she knows what she's doing.

By 3:00 in the afternoon, the boys have gotten up and are either out fishing or upstairs in Paul's room working on his rap music.

Around 5:00 PM I will ask the kids what they want for dinner, and if they aren't hungry I will go and play on the computer again.

At 6:00 PM I get something to eat for myself. I will hang out in my room if there is something good on TV or hang out with the kids if they have friends over that are visiting and want to chat.

By 10:00PM I am in bed unless I am still visiting with the kids. I will continue to hang out with them all for a little bit and then go to my room.

What time do the kids finish school and how do they get home?

In the fall, Meghan usually gets out of school by 3:00 and I pick her up after work and bring her home.

Do they have any extra classes or activities after school? Who takes them and picks them up?

Meghan is not involved in any after school activities. Most of Meghan's friends are out of school.

When do the kids do their homework? Do you or your partner help them?

When Meghan does have homework, she does it at school in study hall. She never brings home her homework and she doesn't have any set times that she studies at home.. She's getting ready to repeat her senior year with junior credits because she didn't take her classes seriously her freshman year.

We're not involved with Meghan's homework on a daily basis, so we leave it up to her to get her assignments done. Her grades really don't bother us unless we get poor progress reports that say she is missing assignments. As long as she's trying, that's all that matters. There's more to life than good grades.

EVENING

If you work outside the home, what time do you get home from work?

I get home at 4:30 in the afternoon from work. John gets in around 11:30 at night.

What time is dinner? Who cooks it?

There is no such thing as a "set" dinner time in this house because we are a laid back household without a schedule. If you need to eat, just eat. There's no waiting on anyone around here. It been this way for so long that when John comes home from work, he knows to check the fridge for leftovers or eat a bag of chips or doughnuts for dinner.

What is your dinner routine?

There's no dinner routine! We're spontaneous. If we are all home, we'll sit around and chat about what everyone wants to eat. If everyone is busy doing their own thing, then they will feed themselves with leftovers, go through a drive thru, or find a snack to tide them over.

Who cleans up after dinner?

Nobody cleans up after dinner. I let the dishes sit until the next day and then I eventually get around to cleaning them.

What happens after dinner?

Everyone runs away from the mess in the kitchen and does their own their own thing. Usually the kids go up to their rooms. Occasionally, we'll chat in the living room or at the dining room table but that doesn't always happen.

Are your kids allowed out during the week? If so do they have a curfew?

The kids are allowed to do whatever they want during the week, but most of the time everyone comes over here. You can find kids anywhere in this house.

When my Paul goes out, I don't always know where he is. If he leaves when I'm not here, I have no clue where he's run off because we aren't the type of family that leaves notes letting everyone know where they are going. I always yell at him for it. I usually know where Meghan is because she calls me. Even if our kids don't tell us, we have a pretty good idea of where they start off their nights, but after that, we have no idea where they'll end up.

Do your kids have set bedtimes?

No. My kids are old enough to go to bed when they feel like it. Like I always say, "When you're tired, sleep."

What is the bedtime routine with the kids?

I am asleep when the kids go to bed. Sometimes they don't come in from fishing or hanging out with friends until 5:00 in the morning and I'm too old to be waiting up for them.

When I have seen them go to bed they start to wind down by playing video games and falling asleep with the TV on in their rooms or on the couches upstairs after they watched a movie or something.

What else do you do in the evening before you go to bed?

I like to play solitaire on the computer or watch TV because it relaxes me. John will come in from work and watch his favorite channels. He watches anything from military stuff to cartoons.

What time do you go to bed?

I get in bed around 10 at night unless the kids have friends over and I'm hanging out and chatting with them. Dad will get in bed anytime between midnight and 2 in the morning. I'm usually asleep by the time he gets into bed.

WEEKENDS

What does the family do on Saturday?

We get together and decide what to do for the day. We love to be spontaneous. We'll pick up and drive to another state if we feel like it. Dad only has off from work one Saturday a month so we try to do something together. Either we go to the beach, the Rockford speedway, or throw a party! It's fun, cheap, and loud and that's what we consider good family entertainment.

What's your Sunday morning routine?

It's the same as every day, there's nothing special about Sunday in this house. You won't see us in church, because we don't go. We believe God can hear you pray at home just as easy as he can at church.

What's your Sunday afternoon routine?

The kids do their own thing and so do we. I might do a project like clean a closet but that only happens once every few months.

What do you do Sunday evening?<

If the kids are home, they may have friends over. Or we might rent a movie and watch it together. The kids always pick real bloody, scary movies - they love them! They scare me and I end up lying in bed worrying about who's going to jump out and get me!

THE RELATIONSHIP

How would you describe your relationship with your partner?

We're close and we talk but we are not "lovey-dovey" and that's okay with us. Put it this way, we're not dating. We're not holding hands constantly. We love each other and we don't have to say it.

What is the best thing about your relationship?

We are incredibly open with each other. We can sense how the other one feels. We just know and we don't even have to say it. We've been together since 1980 and have been married for 24 years.

What annoys you about your partner?

John can be anal about things, especially when it comes to who is parking in the driveway. I annoy John with my constant need to ask questions and get information. I have a sixth sense when something is going on.

What do your partner and you disagree about the most?

We rarely disagree. We don't keep our feelings inside, so that helps.

What happens when you disagree?

If we disagree I normally win! Chances are, if John doesn't want me to do something, he knows I'll do it anyway. He doesn't put up a fight because he knows that he married a bull-headed woman. We just get over it and get on with things.

Do you disagree in front of the children?

We rarely disagree, but if we do it always happen in front of the children. It's part of having an open household.

FINANCES

Are you spenders or savers?

We spend it as fast as we get it! If we are ever short, we borrow from family. We would do the same if we could, because that's what family is for. We wish we were savers sometimes, but it's more important to enjoy life, have fun, and make people happy!

Who controls the money?

I control the money and I dole it out. John hates it when I forget to leave him money for work! Everyone is constantly coming up to me during the day and asking for a few dollars to do this and a few dollars to do that. Five bucks here and there for cigarettes and gas for the car adds up! When the money is gone, it's gone. But we enjoy it while we have it.

How much allowance do the children receive per week? Do they have to earn their allowance?

Whatever the kids ask for, we provide. They don't earn their money. If they had to earn it, they wouldn't get it.

How much do you spend on food & household items per week?

We spend about 300 dollars a week on food. Household items usually cost us around 100 dollars.

How much do you each spend on treats or vices per week?

We spend 150 a week on treats and vices and that goes mostly towards cigarettes for everyone.

If you need more money than that to live on, we suggest you get a Gold Card!

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO TELL ABOUT YOUR HOUSEHOLD?

It's important to remember your sense of humor around here! Remember that "You don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing"! We're not meek, little mousy people. You always know how everyone feels around here because we are not afraid to tell you! We're not perfect. We never claim to be perfect. But we're who we are, and proud of it!