The Edge

Seven Kids and Twenty-One Pets and Counting

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Seven Kids and Twenty-One Pets and Counting

"I never really need to be alone, ever."

"I never really need to be alone, ever."

"I never really need to be alone, ever."

Olivia Loughran, Staff Writer

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Six siblings, two dogs, two cats, three goats, ten chickens, four ducks, and sometimes a litter of puppies is what freshman Aubri Stutzman calls everyday life. “We have to clean the kitchen, sweep the floors, clean the bathrooms, things most kids have to do. But we also have to feed the goats, feed the chickens and ducks and collect eggs, and feed the dogs and cats. If we don’t do them, we get our phones taken away and lose privileges,” said Stutzman.

Being the oldest two kids, Stutzman and her older brother, Ethan, a junior, doesn’t have the kind of lives most teens do. “We can’t always do things that most normal teenagers do, because our parents focus on the younger kids and their childhood.” With five younger siblings, Stutzman said that it is always loud at the house. “You don’t get much peace and quiet,” she said.

The Stutzman family breeds their dogs, Charlie, a standard poodle, and Lola, a saint berdoodle. So far, they have had two litters. “It can be loud, but it’s worth it because puppies are freaking adorable. It’s always fun naming them, and hard to see them go,” Stutzman said. She has helped deliver the puppies before, but it resulted in a traumatizing experience for her. “Delivering Spartan was kinda super gross, but even more scary. I thought he was dead, so I kept doing what my mom told me to do before she left, if they weren’t responsive. But it ended up that he was just sleeping.”

The Stutzman family can’t always do big things with seven kids, but they still manage to do fun things as a family. “We have movie nights, and occasionally we will go out to eat. We also go on road trips once a year to California or Utah,” said Stutzman “There was also one time when we were all obsessed with this one video game, and we would get really competitive. We would tell each other what to do.”

With a big family, you don’t have to worry about being lonely. “I never really need to be alone, ever. Whether I want privacy or not, there’s always someone around.” 

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