Large Family of the Week: The Bonell Family

In the Bonell Family way


In the Bonell Family way


This week’s Large Family of the Week come all the way from Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Meet mum Jeni, dad Ray and their 15 children. Oh, and we mustn’t forget #16 which is due in July!

Read on to find out more about them…


Introduce us to your family:

My name’s Jeni, I’m 45 and a very blessed stay-at-home-mum. I love my “job”.

I’ve been married to Ray (46yrs) for 25 years. He is an electrician and he does a fantastic job of supporting us all. He is an amazing dad!

We have 9 sons – Jesse, Karl, Samuel, Cameron, Timothy, Brandon, Nate, Eric and Damian and 6 daughters – Brooke, Claire, Natalie, Sabrina, Eve and Rachel. Blessing #16 is due July 2014. We don’t find out what the baby’s gender is. We like the surprise.

The kids are aged 24yrs (Jesse) down to Damian who will be 3 when our new bub is born.

The 2 oldest have moved out and bought their own houses, leaving 13 still at home.

We drive a 16-seater Mercedes bus. I love it but it’s hard to find a place to park. J

We own our own home and we live completely debt free – no mortgage, no loans, no debts, and no credit cards. All the sacrifices we have made over the years to get to this point have now made for an easier life with less stress.  That’s not to say that there still aren’t times when the budget is tight but we live a simple life and make do with what we have.


Do you consider your family to be large? If not, what do you think is the magic number which turns an average sized family into a large one?

When I had 4 children, I thought that was large back then but as our family has grown, I’ve realised that 4 wasn’t that many after all.

I think 6 makes a family ‘large’ and once you hit double digits (10 or more) that makes you ‘supersized’ (and super blessed as well).


Did you ever think you would have a large family?

In a word – NO! Hubby wanted 4-6 and I wanted none! God has a funny sense of humour, opened my heart to the joys of being a mum and now I would like as many as I can have.


What is your best moneysaving tip?

Only buy what you need and will use.

A bargain isn’t a bargain unless you can use the item.

Live within (or below) your means and prioritise

NO credit cards!!!!!!!


What is your best tip for organisation?

I have a list and a roster for everything.

All the bedrooms are themed and colour coded which helps with laundry and cleaning rosters.

We are a team so everyone gets involved with running the household, even the little ones.


What is your favourite recipe?

Roast pork/vegetables/gravy

Corned beef/mash potato & pumpkin/carrots, beans, onion &squash/white sauce.

We love to Barbeque!

Favourite dessert is definitely Mango cheesecake J


Do you cook the same meal for everyone or cater for different tastes?

Everyone gets the same meal. The fussy ones who might not like what’s on the menu that night can have toast, noodles or cereal.


What is the best thing about having a large family?

There is unlimited love and support and plenty of hugs and kisses

You are constantly challenged!


And what is the most difficult?

You are constantly challenged!

It’s hard to keep up with the laundry. We do approximately 42 average loads of washing per week.

By far the worst is if one of us gets sick, we all get sick. Blah!


If you could offer one piece of advice to parents, what would it be?

Find joy in the little things and simply enjoy the journey.

To be a parent is such a blessing.


And finally, will you have any more children?!

Yes, yes and yes if we can.

We are so incredibly thankful for all our beautiful children.

Another baby (or 2 or 3…?) would be very welcome but we are leaving it completely in God’s hands.


You can keep updated with Jeni, Ray and the rest of the family over at the Bonell Facebook page



If you would like your to see your family featured as our Large Family of the Week email with ‘Large Family of the Week’ in the subject line. Click here to find out more. 


2 thoughts on “Large Family of the Week: The Bonell Family

    1. Thanks Peta.
      Gotta love beautiful Queensland :-)
      Gotta love “Family” too.
      We are very blessed and very grateful for our family

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