Mom has her day at show
“The lady with the braids is here.”
This is a phrase Doris Hoskin has gotten used to hearing.
As the mother of six children ranging from 8 to 21, Hoskin knows the value of something as simple as a time-saving hairstyle.
“I’ve worn the braids ever since Dennis was 6 months old and he tried to pull them out,” she said with a laugh. “Now I’m ‘The lady with the braids.'”
Hoskin will be celebrating Mother’s Day in Reno tomorrow at the Nevada Junior Livestock Show, where many of her children have been exhibiting since Thursday.
The Mother’s Day breakfast that show officials put on for all the moms has almost become a tradition.
“I have come to enjoy it, and we get to see people we haven’t seen since the last show,” she said. “It’s a nice family time.”
Hoskin and her husband Douglas, who works for Bing Construction and Bing Materials, are the parents to Bill, 21; Rosey, 19; Dennis, 17; Aimee, 14; David, 11 and Brian, 8. Doris manages the Gardnerville Ranchos brood full time.
“I couldn’t afford to work outside this house,” she said.
All of the Hoskin children but the oldest two are in Douglas County School District schools. Additionally, the family has been involved in AYSO soccer, girls softball, Little League baseball and high school track and football.
But it is in the area of 4-H and Future Farmers of America that Hoskin gets particularly enthusiastic.
“I have learned that you can’t do it all, so you pick which project or projects you want to be involved in, and that’s where you concentrate,” she said.
Hoskin said she used to keep a clean house until the sixth child was born.
“Now we call it clean clutter,” she said, explaining that each family member does something every day.
A posted pie chart with chores is invaluable in a large family, she said. This way, everyone does daily chores and rotates larger chores in addition to homework and animal time. The children also help with the cooking and laundry folding, Hoskin said, adding that she does a minimum of 3- 4 loads of laundry every day.
One of the most therapeutic activities Hoskin has become involved with is quilting. She has been in the Carson Valley Quilters since the group’s inception, and has known quilting since she was little, she said.
Although it takes time out of her busy schedule, Hoskin said belonging to the quilt group is an essential sanity saver for her.
“One of the secrets I’ve found is that you have to make time for yourself,” she said. “You have to actually take the time. Going to the quilting meetings is my time.”
Hoskin has been working on a quilt that her great-great grandmother started many years ago. It is a kaleidoscope quilt that she hopes to finish soon. Assuming her children work on it, six generations will have had a hand in the quilt, she said.
Hoskin is currently a 4-H resource assistant and area show manager. At their Gardnerville Ranchos home, the family shares their property with 28 mostly-black sheep – a flock the kids have named the “Hoskin Family Sheep – Dark and Delicious Sheep.”
The family’s involvement in 4-H has spanned several years.
“Rosey and Billy started out in crafts, then went to rabbits and sheep and pigs,” she said, adding that the progression into FFA from 4-H was a logical one.
Of the worst burdens of a large family, Hoskin said the endless chauffeuring of her active children is definitely number one.
“Having to drive them to their activities which are always at the same time in different locations is my least favorite activity,” she said.
The best part of a large family comes during special occasions, she said.
“Holidays are the most fun and family barbecues are definitely never dull,” she said.
Hoskin said that in the beginning, she and her husband didn’t set out to have a certain number of children.
“Douglas is one of 15 children and I am one of three,” she said. “I do remember that when I was 10, someone asked me how many children I wanted and I said, ‘Six.’ Maybe there’s something to that.”
Hoskin said perhaps the most important part of her job is to see the light side of life.
“You have to have a sense of humor,” she said. “When your child is standing there with two broken arms, you have to just go with the flow and be able to change your plans.”
Son Dennis did break both arms a while back, receiving two compression fractures after falling on a cement surface during a sheep workout, she said. Driving to the emergency room, she said she had to stay light and calm.
One interesting Hoskin family phenomenon may be coming to an end, Doris said.
“My children have always instinctively followed behind me in order of age,” she said. Over the years, many people have commented on the stairstep Hoskin phenomenon.
“People ask me, ‘Have you trained your children to follow you in order?’ and I’ve told them, ‘No, it just happens this way,'” she said.
But last Sunday at St. Gall Catholic Church, Hoskin noticed a shift in the line-up.
“When we were at church last Sunday, I noticed they were all mixed up,” she said. “I wondered if maybe they were growing up.”
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