Brent and Vicky H. are two hardworking and loving parents dedicated to giving their eleven children the best they can. Their children include John (17), Daniel (15), Benjamin (14), Joseph (11), David (10), Michael (8), Stephen (7), Luke (4), Anna (2), Joshua (1), and baby number eleven is due in February. With nine boys, the family enjoys outdoor activities like fishing, riding bikes, sports, camping, and hiking. Vicky likes to crochet and Brent loves spending time outdoors. Vicky is a stay-at-home mom that often volunteers with the Christian Life Center, and Brent is an educator.
With a family of 12 living under one roof, it’s shocking to hear that their rental home only has two bedrooms. Their oldest, John, lives in Texas with his grandparents. Many of the kids camp out in the living room with a pull-out bed and a trundle bed. With such a cramped living space, it’s no wonder the family enjoys spending their time outside. “We come from a different perspective,” Brent says. “I’ve been on mission trips to Honduras. I’ve seen how very large families live there in huts with dirt floors so, although it wouldn’t be our first choice and it’s not ideal, we’re blessed to have a place to be.”
While volunteering at the Christian Life Center, Vicky attended a Habitat information class which led to the family’s decision to apply. “We had heard about Habitat before in the news, but we didn’t realize they were a Christian organization. We began investigating and learning and the way they do things sounded like a good thing. You partner with them, you help other people,” Brent says. “We had been looking and praying for something where our whole family could get involved. When I first went to volunteer with the UE Barn Blitz, I had a vision of how my boys could be. A vision of how our family could build and support and help other people.”
Since partnering with Habitat, Brent and Vicky have not let go of this vision of stability and a sense of place. “I think we have the vision of being able to just stay put for a while … get into this house and stay put for a while in one place,” Brent says. “Moving is spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting … especially moving out a family. We’ve moved upwards of 15 or 16 times … we have a dream of being able to stay put and not having to move.” Vicky adds, “We have more of a ‘putting down roots’ mindset. It’s neat to have a goal of the sweat equity hours and being able to work together.” Brent agrees, saying, “Our lives have always been busy, and it’s gotten a little bit busier, but you always find the time to spend together.”
Once moved into their new home, the family will be able to breathe a sigh of relief. “If you don’t have to look at moving expenses every one or two years, you can put that money to good use … like a family vacation,” Brent says. Vicky agrees, adding, “The kids are so ready to just put roots down and have a school that they go to. Stability is a big thing.” Some will still have to share a room, but the children are excited about having their stuff in one place and not scattered in a storage unit. “Having a place where the kids can take ownership and take care of their stuff is really exciting,” Brent says. Vicky adds, “We’re excited to have enough space to have family dinners, have friends and family come over, and be together. We’re ready for some stability and a place that the kids can call home.”