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          • Summary provided by mango_fandango


            The Shupes (Large Families on Purpose)

            Blog: largefamiliesonpurpose.com/
            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

            About Erika:
            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.

            Family History:

            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.


            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.

            EXTRA INFO:

            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)

  • Posts

    • AtlanticTug


      5 hours ago, just_ordinary said:

      It depends. My doctor recommended 1 year before getting pregnant again. We might wait longer before we talk about trying and you obviously never know how fast or if it happens though. 

      Or did I read your post wrong and you referred to the idea she might be pregnant/trying already!

      Based on most of the research re: uterine rupture the general guidelines are: 6 months at a minimum (anything less than that and the odds of uterine rupture rise exponentially), 12 months if you don't mind having another c-section because VBAC rates are still relatively low, 18 months if you want to give yourself the best odds of a VBAC. I waited a year because I had to have a c-section regardless, but didn't get pregnant until 18 months.

    • SuperNova

      Posted (edited)

      I am an excellent driver in cities, on highways, and back roads but nobody wants me on the freeway. I have major PTSD related driving anxiety stemming from a very nasty freeway accident in which I was the passenger. We were hit by a semi truck and were lodged under the wheels. The semi dragged the car about 40 feet before the car was flung into oncoming traffic where the car was struck by 3 other vehicles before coming to rest on the side of the road. Baby Nova was actually a baby when it happened and even though we were physically unharmed, it scarred me for life. I used to cringe at every semi that passed and sometimes my mind would actually see the truck moving into our lane (it wasn't) and freak out. It would scare the shit out of Mr Nova. With therapy I'm much calmer as a passenger but me, my husband, and my therapist all agree that I should avoid freeway driving. 

      Edited by SuperNova
    • luv2laugh

      Posted (edited)

      I think that Megan is a drama queen and possibly maybe something more, who knows. She comes off as ridiculously full of herself and entitled. I think there might be a grain of truth to what she says but we also aren’t seeing the other side. I hesitate to blame her because I can’t help but feel like she’s a victim of what her ex is trying to do to her via the court. Apparently, her ex cheated for a long time and led a double life and good people don’t do that.

      The fact that is hurting her is that she gave up those children. CPS is likely working based off of that and stability for the children needs to take priority. It’s shitty that her ex cheated, refused to complete the adoption, and wouldn’t support the kids financially. She was left with many medical bills to care for one of the children who is special needs and when her ex husband’s relatives offered to foster them for her on a “temporary” basis, she chose to allow it.

      Her writing shows that she’s suffering from all of the pain and stress. She admits there needs to more support given to single mothers, especially those who have special needs children and costly medical bills. 

      I feel really bad for the children. 

      Edited by luv2laugh
    • GreyhoundFan


    • GreyhoundFan


      I'm surprised he didn't blame Hillary too. "This GOP governor found someone to blame for the newspaper holding him accountable: George Soros"


      ProPublica, a nonprofit journalism outlet, has won a Pulitzer Prize four times and been named a finalist nine times in its decade-long existence.

      The outfit has become known for the type of research-heavy investigative projects that many news organizations have moved away from in recent years because of their immense time and cost: series looking at the United States' high maternal death rates, children confined in psychiatric hospitals, bouts of PTSD among police officers and firefighters, and, just this week, how the working poor are increasingly more likely to face IRS audits than the rich.

      The nonprofit organization, which is funded by donors, does not complement these pieces with the type of catty, click-on-me journalism that so many are critical of the media for, nor does it publish opinion pieces. Instead it sticks to a mission to “expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.”

      Perhaps that is why it makes some powerful people nervous.

      On Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, laced into the news organization after it announced that it would be partnering with the Louisville Courier-Journal to fund a year-long investigative reporting project into a state government program. Bevin sought to discredit the partnership by smearing ProPublica’s funding, about 1 to 2 percent of which comes from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.

      With the fixation on Soros, a Holocaust survivor who is the frequent target of anti-Semitic and right-wing conspiracy theories, Bevin’s volley was the latest example of an effort by a political official to discredit a news media organization whose reporting doesn’t reflect their politics or shine flatteringly on them. And it echoed attacks made by autocratic leaders in countries such as Hungary, where the right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made Soros a frequent target of attacks.

      ProPublica’s project with the Courier-Journal was one of 14 that the organization announced on Wednesday, including those with local reporters in places such as Anchorage; Providence, R.I.; Birmingham, Ala.; Charleston, S.C.; and Charleston, W.Va. The Washington Post is a ProPublica publishing partner.

      But Bevin had his own ideas about the partnership, which he released in a tweet and a three-minute video on his Facebook page.

      “The Courier-Journal, which pretends that it’s an actual news organization, is so remarkably biased that they are now full in bed with this particular organization, ProPublica,” Bevin said.

      He also took aim at Herb and Marion Sandler, a wealthy New York couple whose philanthropy helped found the organization, accusing the Courier-Journal of being a “sock puppet” for ProPublica, George Soros, and others “who hate America.”

      On Twitter he was more to the point.

      “OUTRAGEOUS,” he wrote. “ProPublica, a left-wing activist group funded by the likes of George Soros, is now funding . . . ‘investigative reporting’ at the @courierjournal.”

      ProPublica President Richard Tofel said that Bevin’s remarks were tinged with anti-Semitism.

      “The phrase ‘the likes of George Soros’ is a classic anti-Semitic dog-whistle,” he said. “I just know what most people who pick George Soros out when he is a very small part of a story and focus on him — I know what that usually represents.”

      Richard A. Green, the editor of the Courier-Journal, which is owned by the Gannett Company, said that the newspaper had won 10 Pulitzer prizes over the years.

      "I appreciate Gov. Bevin sharing tonight the news of our partnership with ProPublica with Kentucky residents and taxpayers,” he said. “They certainly know that for 150 years, the Courier Journal has stood by its good work. We certainly intend to do the same in 2019 in our partnership with ProPublica.”

      It was not entirely clear what set Bevin off. Some journalists pointed to recent stories the Courier-Journal reported about Bevin, including one disclosing that Bevin gave a $215,000 raise to an old Army buddy who had been hired as the state’s chief information officer. The total salary for the position: $375,000.

      Bevin’s remarks come as journalists find themselves increasingly under threat around the world by hoaxers and autocratic leaders. In the United States, President Trump and his allies have made attacking the news media for unflattering stories a central part of their political entreaties. Most of that consternation has been focused on national organizations.