May 10, 2008 in Nation/World

Mom pregnant with 18th

Jill Zeman Associated Press
 
FILE Associated Press photo

In this Aug. 2 photo, Michelle Duggar is surrounded by her children and husband Jim Bob, third from right, after the birth of her 17th child in Rogers, Ark. Michelle is pregnant again. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Mother’s Day draws a crowd in the home of an Arkansas woman – she is pregnant with her 18th child.

Michelle Duggar, 41, said she is six weeks along in her pregnancy and that everything is going well.

This weekend, Duggar will join her husband and their 17 children to celebrate Mother’s Day with brunch at a hotel in downtown Little Rock. Their youngest child, Jennifer, is 9 months old. Their oldest, Josh, is 20.

The Duggar children include 10 boys and seven girls. Within the group are two sets of twins.

“We’ve had three in January, three in December. Those two months are a busy time for us,” Michelle Duggar said, laughing.

The fast-growing family lives in Tontitown in northwest Arkansas in a 7,000-square-foot home. All the children – whose names start with the letter J – are home-schooled.

Jim Bob Duggar, a former member of the Arkansas Legislature and an unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate, has not been specific when asked how he supports such a big family. But he said he was guided by a seminar about 20 years ago – a system he still advocates – that blends finance and religion.

The family has become well known through news coverage of new births and with programs about them on Discovery Health, which is filming the family again.

Michelle Duggar, who has been pregnant for 11 years of her life, said she and her husband will continue to have children as long as God wills it.

“The success in a family is first off, a love for God, and secondly, treating each other like you want to be treated,” Jim Bob Duggar said. “Our goal is for each one of our children to be best friends, and everybody working together to serve each other makes that happen.”

The other Duggar children, in between Joshua and Jennifer, are Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 16; Jessa, 15; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 10; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 7; James, 6; Justin, 5; Jackson, 3; and Johannah, 2.

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