By Amy Guckeen TolsonJune 14, 2013
For as long as Taylor can remember he's always wanted 12 children. An only child, his grandfather had 12 children and it seemed like a good number at the time. Twelve children and nine grandchildren later, Taylor got his wish and then some.
"We've enjoyed it," said Taylor, who has been married to his wife Pam for 38 years. "The most rewarding part is seeing them grow up and get on their own and do well."
An even split down the middle -- six boys, six girls -- the couple's oldest and youngest boys are adopted, but the rest Pam delivered herself, nine by c-section. Ranging in age from 15 to 38, the Taylor family has children spread throughout the world in places like Ohio, Tennessee, Hawaii and Guantanamo Bay.
"When we can all get together it's nice, and we try every now and then, but it's very, very difficult," said Taylor, safety chief for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- Huntsville Center.
Throughout their journey as parents the two have learned that remaining a cohesive unit works well in their parenting strategy.
"We try to work together and not against each other," Taylor said. "People say you can't afford a large family but you just learn to do things differently. We don't drive new cars. We don't go shopping at the big name stores. We go to Sam's a lot for groceries. I'm convinced you can do it if you're willing to do it that way."
The couple has also learned over the years that no child is the same.
"They're all different and you can't treat them all the same, regardless of what the parenting books say," Taylor said. "What works on one doesn't work on another, and it's the same thing with discipline and rewards."
Even though they've all got their own unique personalities, the common wish Taylor has for each of his children remains the same.
"I hope they stay married and try to be happy with whatever they're doing," Taylor said.
While their youngest is now 15, Taylor doubts their house will ever be completely child-free, especially as the next generation comes along.
"I think we'll always have little kids in the house," Taylor said. "I don't think they'll ever all be gone."