Summary provided by mango_fandango
The Shupes (Large Families on Purpose)
Parents: Erika, Bob
Children: Karen, aged 17
Melanie, aged 15 nearly 16
Brandon, aged 12
Anna-Marie, aged 9
Riley, aged 8
Tyler, aged 6
Spencer, aged 5
Lacey and Lilly, aged 4
Erika is the oldest of four siblings. Her younger brother, Leif, co-runs the family business Cleaner Guys (damage restoration) with Bob Shupe. She also has two much younger sisters, Heidi and Tina. Erika and Leif are quite a bit older than their sisters- when Erika was an 18-year-old college freshman, Leif was 15 ½, the sisters were 6 and 3. Heidi also has a blog, Team Schween, which Erika occasionally links to.
Erika has two posts about their family story. I’ll summarise it here.
http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2011/07/family-planning-surrendering-control-to_09.html (Part One)
http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2011/07/family-planning-surrendering-control-to_12.html (Part Two)
Bob and Erika met in the summer of 1996 where they were both working at a Christian camp. They courted and were married in May 1997. A year and three months later, they gave birth to first daughter Karen. Erika states in “Part One” that Karen’s birth was difficult and gave her nightmares for a year. Nonetheless, four months after Karen is born, she becomes pregnant with second daughter Melanie.
Erika does admit that her faith in God was not that strong at this point, and subsequently she was on the pill for three years. This explains the for-a-fundie large gap between Melanie and Brandon. After Brandon’s birth, she went back on the pill (in her words, she “chickened out of the faith plan temporarily”; for the full reasoning you should check the blog post). Until now, the family had been living in a two-bedroom apartment. Eventually they were able to move to their current location in Mount Vernon, WA. They had fourth child, Anna Marie, three years after Brandon. They determined to stay off the pill, and so fifth child Riley was born exactly a year and a day after Anna Marie.
By this time, Erika was tired from the back-to-back pregnancies and desired to lose a little baby weight. She actually went back on the pill for a while, and sixth child Tyler was born two years after Riley.
It was at this point that Erika truly placed all faith in God… resulting in seventh child Spencer’s birth a mere ten-and-a-half months after Tyler. You read that right, I assure you. A quote from Erika: “I clearly remember praying one day, "Lord! I just want to be hormonally and physically normal for a while!" And He very quietly and lovingly said, "This is the new normal...so you need to adjust." I thought, "Oh. Okay - time for a new plan, then..." How to do life being pregnant, and do it well - on purpose.” Then, only eleven months after delivering Spencer, Erika gave birth to twin girls Lacey and Lilly.
Since then, Erika has conceived three times, but miscarried at 4 weeks, 11 weeks and 9 weeks respectively. With the last two, she publicly posted on the blog, before having to add that the Lord had taken her foetuses to be with Him.
THE BLOG/SHUPE BELIEFS
Erika began the “Large Families on Purpose” blog back in January 2011, when twins Lacey and Lilly were two months old. Her primary areas include organisation (to a shockingly anal-retentive extent), homeschooling and parenting. She claims over and over again that their house is a mere 1100 sq ft, but numerous FJers have disputed this.
Her organisational skills are on a par with Steve and Teri Maxwell. Indeed, she hawks Managers Of Their Homes, Managers Of Their Schools and Managers Of Their Chores. Erika has 47-plus posts on organisation. Highlights include squashing their five girls and four boys into tiny bedrooms, naturally gender-separated. Anna Marie sleeps on a trundle bed. Erika also uses a Maxwellian-inspired schedule, including one during summer. She gets up at 5am and reads the Bible for thirty minutes, before showering and preparing for her day. Here is her latest school schedule: largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2014/08/fall-schedule-2014-for-nine-children.html and latest summer schedule: largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2015/06/summer-schedule-2015-for-nine-children.html . Every child goes to bed at 9pm. She also mentions Maxwellian Green Smoothies on the blog.
Like many fundie SAHMs, Erika homeschools. Unfortunately, as many FJers have noticed, her grammar and spelling skills are poor. Highlights include “Merry Jane”, “strait”, “rout” (meaning route) and others. She justifies this by claiming she has a BA in Early Childhood Education. She also states that she had to unlearn a lot of what she’d learnt in her degree in order to become a better homeschooler.
Unlike the Maxwells and Duggars, the Shupes actually attend a physical church- Spring Creek Bible Church in Bellingham, WA. Family beliefs include below-knee skirts for girls. Contrary to many fundie moms, Erika has short hair, which she justifies in a blog post. Her girls have been photographed wearing tank tops several times, despite Erika’s claims that (the older girls at least) would not be allowed to wear them in public. Erika has a whole series on modesty, the main point of which is that wearing pants draws a man’s eyes to a woman’s crotch.
We know very little about the Shupe children aside from their names, genders and ages. Karen is apparently interested in gardening and cosmetology. (Erika states that Karen wishes to ‘pursue’ cosmetology, before shooting down this idea by saying that this will only be the case until marriage). Melanie is a good artist. Anna Marie likes baking. The twins have not yet understood the “separate identities” thing and do pretty much everything together and refer to themselves as “we/us” (info gleaned from the family Christmas letter, posted on Facebook.) The boys all like playing with typical boys’ toys e.g. Transformers, Lego etc.
Last fall, the Shupes acquired 7-year-old Shih Tzu Mocha. Owing to serious separation anxiety issues, Erika dumped him after a short period. They then acquired puppy Muffin a couple of days after Christmas 2014. He was also dumped, after Erika claimed that the breeder lied about him, saying that he was feisty and aggressive, and was projected to weigh 18 lbs, rather than the 8-9 lbs she’d originally thought. (Erika did not realise that Shih Tzus are typically between 4-16lbs). Finally, dog #3, Happy, arrived, who has outlasted both his predecessors combined. Happy appears to be the entire responsibility of Karen and Melanie, and is often pictured being held by one of them.
Erika also famously broke contact with Bob’s parents (referenced in an old thread in the LFoP archives). viewtopic.php?f=207&t=16752
FJers have speculated on oldest son Brandon. Anna Marie, three years his junior, is his height, as is Riley. Other FJers have also speculated that he looks skinny and ill.
I know that I have only scratched the surface of Erika Shupe and her particular brand of crazy. To truly understand them (if indeed you can), check out the blog. Some highlights:
http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2011/04/organizing-home-more-tips-for.html (Part Two of house organisation, includes the kids' cells (ahem, bedrooms))
http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2012/09/happy-halloween.html (why Halloween is EBIL)
http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2012/10/siblings-sharing-bedrooms-you-have-how.html (The reasoning behind the kids' cells, ahem bedrooms)
http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2012/08/organized-sports-and-individual-hobbies.html (Why organised sports are EBIL)
http://www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com/2011/02/large-family-organization-scheduling.html (Erika even schedules BABIES y'all)
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59 minutes ago, Red Hair, Black Dress said:
As I've mentioned, I'm a tiny bit obsessed/repulsed by the RF wedding site, particularly the shiny happy sparkly all glory to Gwod without her and this "message" I . Am. Nothing. Upcoming announcements. They all read the same way, but each is fascinatingly horrible in its own unique RF-crazy way.
Alas there has been a paucity of Upcomings lately -- Only 2 weddings in Dec and none so far in Jan.
Have they run out of people to marry off? Will they be dipping down into the 16-18 age bracket? After all, RF is all about young marriage and immediate bay-beez.
What could be better than teen-age marriages of under-educated children to keep them locked in the Cult of Gwod.
I keep wondering who Gwen's granddaughter Grace is going to get married off to. How old is she, does anyone know?45 minutes ago, CTRLZero said:
Oh, no! No more gweddings? (Sorry, couldn't resist!) 😮
Is membership slowing down? It seems like RF might be past its peak, especially if Gwen is nearing retirement. Since it's such a cult of the personality, I wonder how they will get new blood once she and Joe twirl off into the sunset.
I picture Gwen as being like Queen Elizabeth -- reigning her entire life.
The official brief was filed today: "House Democrats say Senate must ‘eliminate the threat that the President poses to America’s national security’"Spoiler
The House Democratic managers argue the Senate must “eliminate the threat that the President poses to America’s national security” in the 111-page legal brief they filed Saturday. The brief lays out their impeachment case against President Trump.
With opening arguments in the Senate trial to begin Wednesday afternoon, the seven House managers had until 5 p.m. Saturday to file their brief describing why Trump should be convicted and removed from office. The White House defense team has until noon Monday to file its argument why he should be acquited.
The House legal filing reiterates the findings of the House Intelligence and Judiciary panels, which, after hearing from witnesses and experts, settled on charging Trump last month with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that he is guilty of both,” the managers wrote in the brief. “The only remaining question is whether the members of the Senate will accept and carry out the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and their constitutional Oaths.”
Trump’s legal team released a seven-page response to the charges against Trump, which it filed shortly after the House made its brief public, dismissing the case as a “dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president.”
Echoing the months-long criticism from Trump and his allies of the investigation, the White House said the charges were the result of a “lawless process” and assailed House Democrats for a “transparently political act.”
In the White House response, lawyers Jay Sekulow and Pat A. Cipollone said there was no basis for either article of impeachment. They argued that Trump did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and his release of a rought transcript of the July 25 call was “unprecedented transparency.”
“The articles of impeachment violate the Constitution. They are defective in their entirety,” the White House said.
The Democrats’ brief — which the House framed as an explanation of “why the Senate should convict and remove President Trump from office, and permanently bar him from government service” — reiterates and summarizes arguments that Democrats have put forth for months: that Trump’s alleged effort to trade nearly $400 million in military aid and a coveted White House meeting for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnky for politically motivated investigations represents the height of constitutional malfeasance.
The Ukraine plot, the House managers argue, was compounded by Trump’s effort to obstruct the congressional probe to uncover it in what they portray as an effort to put off any consequences until after his re-election campaign.
“If the President could both avoid accountability under the criminal laws and preclude an effective impeachment investigation, he would truly be above the law,” they wrote. “But that is what President Trump has attempted to do, and why President Trump’s conduct is the Framers’ worst nightmare.”
The meat of the 111-page filing is a constitutional argument for Trump’s conviction and removal, one that frequently appeals to the nation’s founding fathers and their warnings about foreign influence on domestic matters.
“The Framers therefore would have considered a President’s attempt to corrupt America’s democratic processes by demanding political favors from foreign powers to be a singularly pernicious act,” the managers write, adding that “they would have viewed a President’s efforts to encourage foreign election interference as all the more dangerous where, as here, those efforts are part of an ongoing pattern of misconduct for which the President is unrepentant.”
Most of the brief, however, is a recitation of key “material facts” gathered in the four-month House investigation, citing the dozens of depositions and hearings the investigating committees conducted in from October into December but also media reports about Trump’s comments and actions relevant to the Ukraine affair.
The impeachment inquiry after an intelligence agency whistleblower reported the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Voldodmyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Zelensky to do him a “favor” and investigation former vice president Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden.
Thank you all. I so needed a palate cleanser. 😌