Courtney Rogers, 37, and her church pastor husband Chris, 34, welcomed their twelfth baby in 12 years, with her much-anticipated arrival transforming their family a real-life version of the classic comedy movie Cheaper by the Dozen. Cambria into the world on Monday, weight 6lb 12oz in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The couple, who will not be planning any more ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄɪᴇs, say they never set out to have a massive family when they tied the knot in 2008. A ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ soon after their wedding, when she was 24 and Chris was 21, left them fearing they might not be blessed with any children at all. But, after they had Clint, in 2010 – was determined not to stop until she and Chris had 12 children, like the couple in the movie starring Steve Martin and Kate Baker. The babies kept coming and, once they hit 10, they decided to push to a dozen – with their older children’s backing – because they were all keen to take the crown as the real-life Cheaper by the Dozen clan. She said: ” Clint was born three weeks before I turned 26 but, back then, I had no clue that I would have more children. I thought I was too old at 26 and I didn’t know they would come so fast, plus include a set of twins. Then we said we would have 10 children maximum, but I still felt young and healthy enough, so we pushed it to 12. It is amazing how it worked out too because we had all our boys at the beginning and the last five have been girls, so it all evened out.”
Pleased with their 12-strong brood, Courtney says she and Chris will be doing some family planning from now on, saying: ” We have ended up with six girls and six boys, so I don’t think we will have any more, unless we get a surprise. We had 12 children under 12, as Clint turned 12 on Sunday, so Cambria was born just a week before his birthday. He was excited to have another birthday near him, with my husband’s the week before too, so they are all together.” Not only does Courtney look after the smooth running of the household, she also home schools her brood, while Chris works with the church, on the farm and on the home improvements. She said: ” We do everything together. We work together and do home-schooling together. When they are younger I help the children with all their schooling, but when they are older – from the age of 12 – we switch to online tuition”.
Starting with breakfast of cereal or oatmeal at 8am, the morning is dominated with predominantly math and art classes. Lunch is generally a free-for-all at around 11:30am/12pm, with the little ones having sandwiches and a nap, while the eldest make their own food – something like pasta – or have leftovers from the night before. The afternoon involves animal chores before an assortment of language classes, arts, reading and occasionally piano lessons over Zoom, before wrapping up the day with one of Courtney’s batch-cooked dinners at 5pm, which include spaghetti or home-made pancakes with their chickens’ eggs. In between schooling, Courtney is also on clean-up duty, to try and tidy the ever-growing mess around the children, who last enjoyed a trip away to South New Mexico where they rented a house for the family for three days in October 2021.
Once the kids head to bed at 8.30pm – to either sleep or quietly entertain themselves – the couple have their only free time of the day to wind down together in the evenings.