Mother’s Day with nine kids aged under 11 – that’s a lot of love

Mother’s Day with nine kids aged under 11 – that’s a lot of love

Photo by Karleen Minney

Hey everyone,

Happy friday,

My family and I are featured in the Canberra times today. We were super happy to be featured on the front page of the popular paper. Our full story is on page 4. I am also honored they picked my family and I for their special mothers day feature. They could have picked anyone and they chose my tribe and I.

The article was beautifully written by Megan Doherty from the Canberra times. The pictures are incredible and were taken by the amazing Canberra times photographer Karleen Minney. We had so much fun with this photo shoot!

I am usually very hesitant and wary when it comes to doing media because as well as it being a positive and fun experience, it can also very a very negative and dark experience. I will protect my family at all costs and therefore I am picky with what I chose to do. I thank the Canberra times for taking care in writing such a beautiful story about my family and I, It’s so lovely to read a positive story especially with all the terrible things that are going on in the work right now.

Photo by Karleen Minney

You can read our family story here;
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6115253/mothers-day-with-nine-kids-aged-under-11-thats-a-lot-of-love/?cs=14225&fbclid=IwAR1Qze3j7Z7FoDwa6nPC63NpM0Oaap1l5zEmsMuUpKUEe8O29tTL9uMabes

Thanks for having us!

Claire Xxx

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Photo book shop – review

Photo book shop – review

9 sets of feet- Canvas

Hey everyone,

I wanted to talk to you all today about family photos and capturing all the special memories which I know you will cherish for many years to come. I love sitting down with my family and looking through all our photo memories together. Every photo you take has a story to tell and we are always talking about them in our house.

As you all know, I am a busy mum of nine children and I am constantly taking photos of my children. Our children grow so fast and so I try to capture every special moment or silly little thing they do on camera! Call me crazy if you like! but it’s so awesome to look back on!

Recently I connected with an awesome company called Photobookshop.com.au and they asked me if I would like to work with them and review their amazing products! I take pictures like crazy.. so I was not going to say; “No” to this amazing offer! I was super excited!

What I loved most about this opportunity was that I could create my own personal designs and really make it my own. I was super excited to get started!

Creating your own personalized photo items with photo book shop is super easy just follow these steps;

  1. Capture your memories
  2. Click this link to buy your voucher: www.photobookshop.com.au/voucher
  3. Design your product and order!

Another great thing about this amazing company is that they have amazing daily deals to chose from everyday. They also ship to you FREE STANDARD DELIVERY! How awesome is that!

I created four amazing products with photo book shop using their online designer creator software. You can also download a creator software to use on your desktop too. I absolutely loved everything I created. Here is what I created;

  1. Super Dad photo mug.
  2. Metal street sign
  3. 60-page photo book
  4. Canvas

Metal street sign

I absolutely loved creating this personalized metal street sign. I used the websites easy to use online designer. It only took me 10 minutes to make! There was so many colors and text options to chose from. I was very careful with what I chose as our surname could be used in the wrong context. This street sign will proudly be hung on our deck. You can create yours here:
https://www.photobookshop.com.au/index/home-decor/metal-street-signs

Canvas

I was super excited to create this canvas because I’ve never created one before but have always admired them. I recently took this photo of all of my children’s feet and i just knew it would look so great on the canvas! This canvas again, was super easy to create using the websites online designer creator software. It did not take long to create at all. I am so happy with how it turned out. It is already hanging on our living room wall. You can create yours here:
https://www.photobookshop.com.au/custom/themes?category=Home%20Decor&productcategory=Canvas

Super Dad mug

I absolutely loved creating this personalized mug for my husband Mark. I used the simple online designer to create the product.People are always calling me a ‘super mum’ but sometimes forget about the awesome fathers! I think my husband is a ‘super dad! to our children. I therefore wanted to create something that made him feel special. The photo mug was so quick, easy and fun to make!
https://www.photobookshop.com.au/custom/themes?category=Photo%20Gifts&productcategory=Mugs

*See more amazing photos of what we created at the end of this blog post*

Photo book – 60 pages

I absolutely loved creating this 60 page photo book with all of our favorite family photos. Using the online designer I chose the beautiful blue & turquoise background and I carefully selected what photos I wanted for the photo book. It took me a long time to create this but I wanted it to be perfect. it was totally worth the time and effort because I think it looks amazing. We can’t stop looking at it! We love it! You can create the photo books here >>
https://www.photobookshop.com.au/custom/products?category=Photobooks

My tribe!-Photo book

Thank you, photobook shop for allowing me to create these amazing photo products on your website. I had so much fun creating them and making them my own. I cannot wait to see what new and exciting products you will launch next!

In a few days time I will be posting a photo book shop review on my YouTube channel so please stay tuned for that!

Claire XxX

What it’s really like in a household with 11 people!!

What it’s really like in a household with 11 people!!

My Tribe

It’s 8am, and the older girls wander down with a basket to the hen house , it’s time to feed the chickens and collect fresh eggs! There is laughing and giggling and they are all excited to reach down and pick up fresh warm eggs! It’s a great start to each day and they are the kinds of moments we love in our life. There is pure fresh happiness, a house full of little girls and a handsome little boy and a wonderful husband. It really is a daily adventure.

My husband Mark, 36, and,  I live in a little rural town near Canberra with our nine children,  yes, that’s right 9 children! Eight girls, and one boy! Their names are: Georgina, Charlotte, Franchesca, Abigail, Catherine, Elizabeth, Rose, Martina, and Michael.

We have a busy, but well-managed household. Every day at our house we always fun, full of love, joy happiness and laughter! Living in a rural town is lovely, but it also has it’s disadvantages too. We do not have any shops and travel 45kms to get groceries and other normal day items.

A lot of people ask me “how do you cope with a large family” or “do have a TV? Or “Your husband must be a CEO!”

I always say that although life is hard it’s hard for the right reasons. A large family is a blessing a truly wonderful experience. Honestly it’s really not that bad, we just do what we have to do and draw strength from our Christian Faith. We have hard days like anyone else, and sometimes life throws some difficult challenges our way, but I would not have it any other way! We have also been very smart, and fortunate, with our finance. We purchased our home in an affordable and up and coming area and only 45 minutes from the Capital Canberra. My husband works full-time and I stay at home looking after and home schooling the children. Life is good!

At 1:30 pm we stop our busy day for some lunch and some garden play! The children absolutely love being in the garden with the animals! I capture these special moments on camera , as really, every day is a special day! I know that my husband and I will cherish these moments forever!

As a family of 11, 1 dog, 7 hens, 2 ducks (and a few spiders and snakes), it is very important to shop around and find the best deals! We do our grocery shopping once a fortnight at Aldi and we set a budget of $500- $600  for our food shopping. Petrol money and bills money is kept separate, However, I do keep some extra money aside for any other extra expenses we have throughout the fortnight. We buy 48 litres of milk, 3 kilogram blocks of cheese, 3 pouring creams and 2 thickened creams. That’s a lot of dairy!

I like to meal plan for the fortnight. I think it is very important to meal plan. We do sometimes shop at Costco, Coles and Woolworths to see what’s on special. For Sundays we often buy a really big pork and cut it in half. We cook 1 half for Sunday roast, and then use the other half the following Sunday. otherwise we buy 2 chickens. We boil the left over’s and use it to make a curry the following night.


If you want to save money on petrol, birthday cakes or other items I recommend going to your nearest Costco store. (if you have one) You can find some of the best deals here.


We shop around for the best insurance policies. We have an awesome deal at Saint George Bank for our vehicles (through Alliance), and home and contents insurances. We bank with service one for our mortgage and main accounts, and so far we have found them the best bank to deal with. They also are very good to bank with, if you have a larger family, they treat you fairly from our experience.

We save money by not buying too many luxuries and finding the best deals. We have seven hens and two ducks which we free range and get a good quantity of eggs. We also have been growing some  vegetables and fruit which has been really great for us!. Another smart way to save money is by opening up a Christmas club account with your bank. Ours does not let you withdraw the money until November 1st. We try to put $150 in the account once a Month. Holidays are ad hoc when we have available funds but we normally get away for 2 weeks per year.

We are not penny pinchers, dole bludgers or anything in between. We work hard, save money and do the right thing for our family and community. We are not big spenders either. We always make it work no matter what! No one ever goes without. We are adaptable and able to adjust our budget needs if and when we need to.

When it comes to buying clothes and shoes I like to shop at places like Kmart, Target, Best & Less, Big W and even charity shops like St Vincent De’Paul. My mother in law is a hairdresser and often cuts the kids hair for me which is wonderful and a big benefit for us. Not everything has to cost money, like days out etc, why not take a picnic in the park or go to your local botanical garden? Lakes, beaches national parks and bush walks are also great ways to enjoy time with your family.  Be creative with your ideas. Kids will absolutely love that!

After the birth of my 9th child,  I decided that I wanted to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. I did some research and came across the Keto diet. I have been doing this diet now for almost 9 months, and I have lost 23 kilos. I hope to lose another 8 kilos over the next few months! I am feeling fantastic after shedding so much weight! If you would like to know more about the Keto diet and how it has helped me then see my social media including blog for my experiences.

Or typical day is very busy but after baths, dinner and other activities we are now finished and snuggled up on the, very large, lounge together. We talk about our day, how we are all feeling and what the new day will bring. We look at our tribe with so much pride, love and joy it makes us so happy!

At 8:30 pm it’s time to be tucked into bed and get comfy with bedtime stories. My husband and I use this time to reflect on our day, discuss the future and enjoy each other’s company.

We (my husband and I) feel so incredibly blessed to have our family. We thank God for our blessings and graces. We are no different to anyone else. We are part of your community. We are Australians.

I recently started a blogging my journey over at ‘ Thistribeofmine.com ‘ I cannot wait to continue this journey and see where it may lead, you can find me on Instagram, or Facebook

Claire Louise Hooker XXxxXX