7 kids, 7 missions, one college, no debt

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  • Valerie Hampton Murray, UT
    May 12, 2015 11:40 p.m.

    Shauna & Merrill truly are everything this article says. Great, great parents & great, great people-humble, big smiles & hearts.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    May 7, 2015 5:35 p.m.

    Hey DN, this story really belongs in the Family section where I'll bet it will get more readers.

  • Larry M. Arnoldsen Orem, UT
    May 7, 2015 1:02 p.m.

    It can be done. I too helped my kids deliver papers. Me on a motor cycle. Back in about 1980 when I was a professor at BYU my dean asked me how I could be debt free and be raising ten children. My oldest was 20 then. I said it was true. He said he made twice the money I did, how could I do it. "It's easy," I said, "just don't spend more than you got." We both chuckled. My wife & children between us have 12 degrees from BYU including 2 doctorates, & 3 masters. All without debt. 8 of us have served missions without debt. We've lived in our present home 45 years without a mortgage. We built it our selves. My wife is a master organizer & doer. She is an officially honored Alumni of BYU. We had a milk cow & lots of fruit trees and gardens. We kept older cars running. The children have all become honest, frugal, successful people. We have loved it all and had tons of fun.

  • Fluffy Bunnies ,
    May 7, 2015 11:36 a.m.

    Great article, thanks! Will share with the family.

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2015 10:02 a.m.

    Impressive... Most impressive.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    May 7, 2015 7:59 a.m.

    Insightful story! I grew up in a home similar to this so moving into adulthood wasn't as difficult for me as it is for many other people I know. The challenge I had was that I had no support from my spouse. He had grown up in a home were the parents refinanced their mortgage whenever they wanted something or couldn't pay their bills. He thought they were good role models. They had attended church most of the time, except in the summer when camping took priority. So, life has always been a challenge in our home. Living a life of debt has been most of our childrens choice. They say it is more fun!

  • I see nothing! Casa Grande, AZ
    May 7, 2015 7:47 a.m.

    Impressive no matter how you look at it.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    May 7, 2015 7:28 a.m.

    Great parents, = great kids = a prosperous and happy family, community, and nation. A wonderful example this Gee family is!

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    May 7, 2015 7:26 a.m.

    I appreciate articles like this because I'm trying to do the same thing for my children, but increasingly it's becoming difficult to find jobs for teens. So many adults have to work additional part-time jobs (myself included) that there are fewer for teens--especially jobs that don't require Sunday work.

    And here in Utah, no one pays for yard work, etc., expecting it to all be "service." Babysitting is also rarely available.

    Many of these tactics the family used a decade or more ago simply don't exist now, and I worry how it will be in another decade when my youngest is a teenager.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    May 7, 2015 7:14 a.m.

    Loved, loved, loved how these parents empowered their children.

    Rather than doing for them, they taught their children to do for themselves. In the process, their 7 children learned...
    ...how to set goals
    ...to value education
    ...to look outside themselves

    As a result, these parents have 7 competent, self-reliant children. That's an impressive legacy.

  • emb Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 7, 2015 5:34 a.m.

    These people should be a model for the nation. emb

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    May 7, 2015 1:09 a.m.

    A real story of a true American dream.

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    May 7, 2015 12:25 a.m.

    Pretty awesome!

  • Marigold Provo, UT
    May 6, 2015 11:10 p.m.

    It is hard to live with college roommates and not feel some peer pressure, etc. What a determined young lady to work while going to school and to save up money while doing so! It just goes to show that no one needs to be in debt over their heads for a college degree. Thanks so much for this wonderful story about a very amazing family!

  • WarmPost slc, UT
    May 6, 2015 3:02 p.m.

    Great Family!

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    May 6, 2015 1:31 p.m.

    Cool story, thanks!