About The Duggar Family
The family (who live in Tontitown, Arkansas) originally appeared in several TLC and Discovery Health one-hour specials, most of which focused on four of Michelle's last five deliveries.
Jim Bob has one older sister, Deanna, whose daughter Amy occasionally appears on the show. Jim Bob and Michelle first met when Michelle experienced a religious conversion and Jim Bob, along with another church member, were sent for follow-up visits. They were married on July 21, 1984.
The Duggars elected to delay having children and practiced birth control.It was three years before Josh, their eldest child, was born. They then resumed using birth control; despite precautions, Michelle conceived again but suffered a miscarriage. Believing the miscarriage was due to the contraceptive, the Duggars quit birth control. As they explain, they decided to allow God to determine the number of children they would have. Shortly thereafter, Michelle became pregnant again, this time with her first set of twins, Jana and John-David, thus starting her pregnancy addiction. Thereafter, approximately every year and a half, Michelle has given birth.
The Duggars are conservative Baptists, and due to their fundamentalist biblical beliefs, they practice the following: The only television the family watches are wholesome family programming on DVDs, and various historical events. Internet use is restricted. The male family members keep their hair cut short (by cutting their own hair to save money), while the females keep their hair long, because Jim Bob likes long hair. The children are home-schooled using a mix of materials, including those of Switched On Schoolhouse, IBLP, and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE). The children are discouraged from dating, but rather undergo courtship, wherein all meetings between a couple include a chaperone, and the couple abstains from physical contact and the young man seeks permission from the young woman's father to become engaged.
The Duggars raise their children using a buddy system, wherein an older sibling is assigned to a younger sibling and assists in their primary care. According to Michelle, "They help them with their little phonics lessons and games during the day and help them practice their music lessons. They will play with them or help them pick out the color of their outfit that day and just all of those types of things." In 2004, Michelle Duggar won the "Young Mother of the Year Award" in Arkansas, which is sponsored by American Mothers Incorporated, even though she stopped raising her kids after Jana turned 10. Michelle now relies on her eldest daughters to raise their younger siblings.
Jim Bob served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002. The Duggars' income is derived from the commercial properties they own. They live debt-free, which Jim Bob has said is "the fruit of Jim Sammons' Financial Freedom Seminar" he attended years ago (Sammons' Seminar is endorsed by IBLP). Their 650 square meter (7,000 square foot) house was built by the family itself over the course of six years with minimal assistance from friends, primarily in the form of instruction. The home was completed on January 20, 2006. The painting, decorating, furnishings, appliances, and other finishing touches, such as a stocked pantry, were provided by Discovery Networks and corporate sponsors as part of the one-hour television special. The work on and completion of the house were the focus of a one-hour television special entitled 16 Children and Moving In.
On September 26, 2008, eldest son Josh, married Anna Keller. In early April 2009, the couple announced Anna was pregnant. When asked about potential names, Josh stated they were thinking "M," after his mother, and on July 30, 2009, they announced via their website that their daughter would be named Mackynzie Renée Duggar. Mackynzie was born on October 8, 2009. Their second child, Michael James Duggar, was born on June 15, 2011.
On December 10, 2009, Michelle gave birth via emergency C-section to Josie Brooklyn Duggar, three months prematurely. Michelle was rushed to the hospital for gallstones and it was there that doctors discovered she had pre-eclampsia and performed an emergency delivery. Josie weighed 1 lbs, 6oz at birth. A week after the birth, Michelle reported that Josie was "doing as well as can be expected for a baby at her age. We are taking each hour as it comes." On April 6, 2010, after nearly four months in the hospital, Michelle and Jim Bob were able to take Josie home to their rental in Little Rock while they awaited the okay to take her home to Tontitown. However, on April 8, 2010, Josie Duggar was readmitted to the hospital after her vital signs dropped. Fortifiers that had been added to breast milk to help her gain weight appeared to be the cause