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Blended Rubin Family Meets Family Size Challenges
Posted on April 29, 2011
by LORI LUM
Yes, it’s true. The Rubin family has been compared to the Brady Bunch and with good reason. When Paul and Charina met in 2006, they were both single parents, but they each kept secret at first just how many children they had for fear of scaring the other away.
Charina was living in Tampa, Florida and Paul in San Diego when fate brought them together on an online dating site. They were initially cautious, only talking via phone and e-mail for the first three months, but soon Paul took the next step and flew to Florida for their official first date. Fortunately, everything went great. They both returned to their everyday lives, each thinking that the other had two kids and each carrying a little guilt for not exactly being truthful on that point.
Their secrets didn’t last long, however. As their attraction grew and they spent hours on the phone and Internet chatting, they knew they had to come clean. Finally, Paul revealed that he actually had four children, and Charina revealed that she had six. Today, Charina appreciates the humor of the situation. “We saved the archives of that chat, and it’s almost like reading a script of a comedy movie. We ended up talking for hours, laughing and crying at the same time at how we had kept the same secret.”
Later that day, when the couple talked, Paul asked, “So, can you handle 4?” and Charina simply answered him, “Can you handle 6 more?” They were engaged on Christmas Day 2006, and wed the following year. Amazingly, both decided that they wanted to have one more child as a couple, bringing the total number in their blended family to 13.
Today, they all live in the Savenna community of Sana Fe Valley. They love the friendly atmosphere of the community and the amazing school district. Paul has worked in software development and computer programming for over 21 years, and Charina is a full-time homemaker and active volunteer at the kids’ schools. The couple enjoys walking together on the many trails found locally, and both love to cook. Charina also manages to find time for crafting and making hand-made gifts, as well.
So how do they do it? What is the day-to-day reality of having such a large family? To start, there are five boys and six girls ranging in age from 3 to 17. The children attend four different schools, and mom visits each one twice per day (in the family’s 15-passenger van) for drop-off and pick-up. The family can consume 12-14 gallons of milk, five-dozen eggs, and 8-10 loaves of bread per week. Of course, they also generate lots of loads of dirty laundry!
Although they have live-in help, the family is big on chores. All the kids contribute to keeping the house clean and well organized. The older siblings are wonderful homework helpers for the younger children and also take on greater responsibilities such as doing their own laundry.
One special time of year for the Rubin family is the holidays. They have made it a tradition to spend every Thanksgiving at the Disneyland Hotel’s Family Thanksgiving Feast, and although Charina and Paul say Christmas is their busiest time of year, it is always fun and memorable. The family stays busy year ‘round with sports, music, and school events, but incredibly, they keep everything in perspective. “Managing our busy lives, to stay close to what is most important (which is the physical and emotional well-being of our family) has always been our goal as parents,” said Charina. “Our family is unique. We are a blended family but our children treat each other like they are real brothers and sisters.”
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