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House Swap with the Parents

So I promised to explain why I find driving a 15 passenger van filled with kids so natural. Well, I learned to drive on a 15 passenger van. I turned 16 while my then, normal sized family of 11 was in Montana in the middle of one of several four week long across the country road trips. (My husband hates that there are so few places that we can explore together that are firsts for both of us and I try to explain to him that it doesn’t count if I just visited the place as a child in a 15 passenger van.)
On one of these trips, and I think it was the one when I was 13, someone told me I looked so young to have all these children. Duh. I was sitting with 7 kids, probably definitely bossing them around. And my parents were sitting at their own table.
But my family is no longer a normal sized family of 11, two parents, 4 birth, 5 adopted, 4 girls and 5 boys. When the youngest of us first 9 was in high school my parents basically started over and have since adopted 8, mostly boys, mostly chinese, plus there is one that has just lived with us pretty much since birth.
So basically, my parents, who are still married have a 2nd family.
Like so much in my life, my van driving days feel like a lifetime and a world away. But my parents had a getaway to our house this weekend and we stayed with the kids in Franklin. We had a great time. They are definitely the easiest kids ever. When we crawled out of the bedroom Sunday morning they were all but one, dressed for church and cleanable and vacuuming the house.
We had a great time playing games with the kids. Shah also built an engine with them. I got to spend time with friends and family. It was a fun vacation for everyone, and rather than try to remember all of it, I’m just going to narrate some of the photos.

My parents room has an awesome two walls of windows view of the mountains and Zoya loved mornings.

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One morning we woke up and they were all playing monopoly. Another evening we taught them to play Murder, which is like hide and go seek in the dark plus Mafia.

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We are all sort of mourning the loss of our old maple trees but they had a fungus and were dropping branches.

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Zoya and I walked downtown with some of the cousins. Downtown Franklin, NC is drastically different from when I was a child. It has the best shops and little coffee spots. I definitely enjoyed my first coffee from Crabtree General Store and then was totally impresses with REIGN, the cutest boutique. And of course, my niece and nephews were enjoying fro-yo from Main Street Coffee & Yogurt. I almost wish my family didn’t live here so that we could just vacation here for the weekend and explore.

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More trees mourning photos

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Did you really take me out in my PJ’S?  You know when you try to go somewhere in Franklin in your pj’s you end up seeing everyone you know.

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This was the engine building group. You learn a lot about a child when they are doing group work.

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Let me just say that 20 McChicken sandwiches are heavy.

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Zoya is sticking to her love of wooden trains and trucks.

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Shah totally mastered cooking for a large family. He made Istanbuli Pollow and Spinach Yogurt. It was a hit.

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About Camila

Based in Atlanta, but from the mountains of North Carolina. New widow of a man from Iran. Mother of one precious girl. Anti-human trafficking expert. Sister to 16 siblings (Yes, some of are adopted). Daughter of God.

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